These 5 Teams Still in Heavy Pursuit Of Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard spoke to the media last Friday and claimed the rumors that he's asked for a trade are "not true" least for now. But he also has more or less given the Portland Trail Blazers an ultimatum to build a championship contender—or else.

According to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, no less than five teams are reading the tea-leaves and believe a trade opportunity does exist this offseason, and are making a hard push to acquire Lillard. 

Those five teams, according to O'Connor:

  • Miami Heat
  • New York Knicks
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Houston Rockets
  • Philadelphia 76ers
All five of these are being "aggressive suitors" of Lillard. Last week, we told you about the Heat and the Knicks being two of Dame's top destination choices. So those make sense. How he feels about the other three is as yet unknown. 

The Kings have some good young players to offer, but what would Lillard have left there to play alongside?

The Sixers could make sense, depending on what they do with Ben Simmons. Pairing Lillard with Joel Embiid would be a scary proposition for the East. 

The Houston Rockets would have a lot of 1st round draft capital to offer, mostly obtained from their James Harden trade. 

Speaking of which, the report also goes on to say that the Blazers can expect a trade return that would exceed the package the Rockets got in the Harden deal.  That brought Houston three 1st round picks, four 1st round pick swaps, plus a damaged goods Victor Oladipo. 

The bidding will no doubt continue, as the Trail Blazers will be trying desperately this summer to bring in a marquee player to put alongside Lillard, to convince him that this team is ready to compete for a title.

Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports