Damian Lillard Trade Talks Intensify as Training Camp Nears
Over two months have passed since Damian Lillard formally requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, but his desire for a new team has yet to materialize. However, the winds of change may finally be blowing, as NBA training camps loom just a few weeks away, and the Trail Blazers are reportedly ramping up their trade discussions, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski.
The respected NBA insider shared insights into the ongoing situation, noting that while there hasn’t been a seismic shift in the status quo, the Blazers have become notably more active in recent weeks compared to the relative quiet of the summer. Wojnarowski explained:
“I sense that the Blazers have done a lot more talking with teams in the last say 10 to 14 days than they did probably in at least a month plus prior. And a big part of that is the league is back to work now after Labor Day, and training camp is starting to approach. And that’s the next real deadline in this process.
“But I think Portland, what they’ve been trying to do, is see how they could put together multi-team deals that would get them the assets that they would want: draft picks, young players. There might be a team whose best asset is a veteran player that doesn’t interest the Blazers, but there’s a third team that might want to take on that veteran and then send whether it’s a young player or picks in part to Portland.
“So I think they’ve been in communication with a lot of teams trying to find a structure of a deal that can get them a Damian Lillard trade. We’ll see now how much traction they can get between now and the start of camp.”
Training camps for most NBA teams, including the Blazers, are scheduled to open on October 3rd, with some teams beginning camp as early as September 27th for preseason games overseas. The looming camp start date adds urgency to the situation. If a trade isn’t finalized by then, it creates a potentially awkward scenario where Lillard must either report to camp with a team he’s publicly expressed a desire to leave or opt for a holdout, risking financial losses and potential damage to his reputation.
While the Trail Blazers are understandably aiming for the best possible trade package, hence their reluctance to send Lillard to his preferred destination, the Miami Heat, they also wish to avoid unnecessary drama. Having Lillard present in camp would be a significant distraction for a young team embarking on a rebuilding phase, unless he’s slated to be a part of the team for a significant portion of the season.
While there are no guarantees that a deal will be struck before the start of camp, it’s evident that the Trail Blazers are now operating with a sense of urgency that wasn’t as pronounced during much of the summer. The NBA world eagerly awaits the resolution of this high-profile trade saga as the clock continues to tick.