The Los Angeles Lakers managed to win the LeBron James sweepstakes, and the next order of business should be recruiting more superstars to play with the three-time NBA Champion.
Los Angeles has been linked to disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, but nothing has come to fruition yet. But if the Lakers want to find LeBron an All-Star point guard to work with, the Portland Trail Blazers might be able to help.
According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, point guard Damian Lillard "is open to leaving," and that the Lakers and New York Knicks would be among his list of preferred destinations.
Smith did note that Lillard loves playing in Portland and would love to win there. And for what it's worth, the perennial All-Star took to Twitter and shut down any rumors that he's willing to leave.
It's hard to envision why the Trail Blazers would trade their franchise star for many reasons. Lillard is only 27 years of age, is under contract for three more seasons and just led Portland to a 49-win season. There are no incentives for the team to give up Lillard now, when they're among the best teams in the Western Conference and have plenty of good seasons ahead of them.
That being said, the Lakers do have a plethora of young talents and draft picks they could offer up in a trade. This would include Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, among others.
But a Lillard trade realistically wouldn't happen until two years from now, when he enters the final year of his contract. As long as the Trail Blazers continue to get into the postseason under Lillard's watch, there's no good reason to trade him.
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