Trail Blazers Notes: Lillard, Trade Talks, Devoe

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN gets the sense that the Trail Blazers‘ trade talks regarding Damian Lillard have picked up over the past couple weeks, he said on NBA Today (YouTube link).

Talks had largely been dormant for over a month, but training camp is just a few weeks away, so teams are trying to complete rosters before the season begins in late October.

I think Portland, what they’ve been trying to do is see how they can put together multi-team deals that would get them the assets that they would want — young players, draft picks,” Wojnarowski said. “There might be a team that their best asset is a veteran player that doesn’t interest the Blazers, but there’s a third team who 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. … We’ll see how much traction they can get between now and the start of camp.”

People within the Blazers and around the league expect that Lillard will report to camp if a trade hasn’t occurred, according to Wojnarowski, who says that scenario would be “uncomfortable” and “may be unpleasant, but it won’t be unprofessional.” Having Lillard away from the team while Portland searches for a deal isn’t an option under the new player participation policy, Woj notes.

Here’s more on the Blazers:

  • At (Insider link), Tim Bontemps, Kevin Pelton, Andre Snellings and Andrew Lopez came up with hypothetical Lillard trades that were evaluated by their colleague Bobby Marks, a former assistant GM with the Nets. Lillard hopes to be traded to the Heat. Bontemps proposes a straight-up swap that sends Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic to Miami in exchange for Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Jaime Jaquez, Nikola Jovic, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, and 2028 and 2030 first-round swaps. The other proposals involve the Sixers, Clippers, Pelicans and Raptors.
  • The Rip City Remix — Portland’s new NBA G League affiliate — have acquired a 2024 NBAGL first-rounder from the Salt Lake City Stars (Twitter link). The Remix sent the Jazz‘s affiliate the returning player rights to Michael Devoe. Devoe, who played college ball at Georgia Tech, signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Clippers last fall, but was waived before the season started. He spent 2022/23 with their G League affiliate, the Ontario Clippers.
  • In case you missed it, commissioner Adam Silver recently said the NBA won’t do anything to force the sale of the Trail Blazers. You can find more details here.
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