NBA Analyst Gives Good News to Knicks Fans About Damian Lillard

Published 08/01/2021, 3:43 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, USA – JANUARY 10 : Damian Lillard (0) of Portland Trail Blazers gestures during a NBA game between Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, USA on January 10, 2017. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


Has Damian Lillard reached his wits’ end in Portland? The Blazers following yet another first-round exit in the 2021 Playoffs, against an injured Denver Nuggets head into the offseason with the urgency of making a big splash rising.

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If not, the franchise stands the risk of losing a generational talent in Damian Lillard, who may end up forcing his way out of Portland.

NBA Free Agency kicks in a few hours! While questions loom over whether Lillard will don a Blazers jersey on opening night, one must consider the possibility that a separation is incoming this season. Does Dame vision himself heading East to a prime time market in search of help?

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Senior NBA Insider, ESPN legend, and more importantly, Knicks fanatic Stephen A. Smith is already all in on the move citing New York as a favored destination.

Is Damian Lillard headed to the Mecca of Basketball?

The legendary NBA insider and senior analyst Stephen A. Smith recently addressed Dame Dolla trade rumors, with free agency incoming.

Smith said, “I happen to know for a fact that even though Damian Lillard isn’t keen on getting traded from Portland, if he were to get traded from Portland, the New York Knicks are his Number 1 destination. I’m telling you what I know, I know this for a fact, y’all figure out how.

“He would want to be a New York Knick because he believes in the New York market unlike in Portland, it would be easier for him to pull off getting guys to want to come play with him.

“Guys like a Jayson Tatum down the line, guys like Joel Embiid down the line. These are the kind of things you have to pay attention to for a guy like Damian Lillard.”

A Knickerbocker future

Damian Lillard, who is currently under contract in Portland till 2024-25 when he has a player option worth 54-million $, will be the hottest commodity in the market should he ask for a trade.

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However, a Knicks trade for Lillard won’t come cheap. In what could likely be a mirror of the Lakers trade for Anthony Davis, it would cost the Knicks majority of their young core.

Mar 7, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Team Lebron guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers (27) celebrates making the game winning basket during the 2021 NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports.

Having finally turned their fortunes around from recent seasons, the Knicks resurrection saw a major jump this season. However, if GM Scott Perry were to orchestrate the trade, Madison Square Garden will be amped come Dame Time.

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In fact, this trade could set up a golden age of basketball, with all 5 coastal big market franchises loading up. Could the signing of a player like Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal or Jayson Tatum in the near future see New York City mirror the L.A. rivalry?

Watch this story – Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons & Other NBA Players Who Will Be Trending During Trade Talks

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Nikhil Naik

170 articles

Nikhil Naik is an NBA writer at EssentialySports. Having completed his bachelor's degree in Hospitality, he has worked with the Indian Hotels Company Limited, at the Taj in Mumbai. Nikhil has been playing basketball since 2014.

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