Blazers "Have To Trade Damian Lillard... Now", Says NBA Front Office Insider

 "What should the Portland Trail Blazers do with Damian Lillard?"

ESPN's NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks thinks that's the first question that Trail Blazers' ownership should be asking any applicants for the now-vacant president of basketball operations/GM position. 

And he believes that the only answer to that question is "'I would start putting out feelers for Damian Lillard'. I'm not going to trade him just to trade. But I do think we're getting to the point that it's going to have to be that Portland trades Damian Lillard.

"That's the only way they're going to get a reboot of this roster."

Earlier on Friday, the Blazers fired president of basketball ops/GM Neil Olshey for "code of conduct violations." It's been a year of turmoil thus far for Portland, who've also watched their team president Chris McGowan resign, while on the court, their mediocre 11-12 record leaves them exactly where their detractors feared, fighting for a play-in spot.  

"Let's face it. If you keep (CJ) McCollum, Lillard and (Norm) Powell, you're just gonna keep on spinning your wheels, you're going to be a consistent play-in team, you're gonna play the minimum market as far as veterans.... That's what you're looking at, because you have so much money tied up.

"Lillard has the most trade value here... That would be where I'm going... And the first team I would call would be Philadelphia."

But surprise, Marks isn't talking about Ben Simmons. He thinks they should look at trading for the likes of Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, or Matisse Thybulle. 

Lillard has his own problems at the moment, as he's already missed some time with a "decently significant abdominal injury", and will continue to be out at least the next 10 days or more. His scoring numbers are down considerably this season, likely due to the injury. 

"If you're Portland," Marks warned, "you better act now, instead of a year or two years now, when you're looking at 60 cents on the dollar." 

Marks spent 20 years in NBA front offices, including his last five as assistant GM of the Brooklyn Nets, before joining ESPN as their Front Office Insider. 

Photo Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports