The explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is undeniably the main reason behind the Portland Trail Blazers' success in the past seasons. Unfortunately, in the years that they were together in Portland, Lillard and McCollum were unable to win their first NBA championship title, and their greatest achievement was reaching the Western Conference Finals. If they suffer another huge disappointment in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors are once again expected to swirl around Lillard, McCollum, and their future with the Trail Blazers.
If the Trail Blazers have to choose between their two superstar guards, they would likely prefer to move McCollum and rebuild the team around Lillard. However, things would be different if Lillard decides to follow the footsteps of other NBA superstars and start finding his way out of Portland. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Lillard could pick the New York Knicks or the Los Angeles Lakers as his next landing spot if he demands a trade from the Trail Blazers.
"If scoring point guard Lillard asks for a trade, it's believed the Knicks or Lakers would be his choices," Berman wrote.
It wasn't the first time that Lillard has been linked to the Knicks and the Lakers. Earlier in June, Lillard revealed that he thought that he would be heading to the Knicks "a few years ago." Lillard also said that the Madison Square Garden is his "favorite place to play."
However, aside from being a big-market team with a huge fanbase, the Knicks couldn't offer that much to Lillard. The Knicks are currently one of the worst NBA teams in the league and have been involved in numerous controversies in the past few years. If Lillard really decides to leave the Trail Blazers, it would be for an NBA team that could give him a realistic chance of winning an NBA championship title, making the Lakers a more ideal trade destination for him than the Knicks.
Even without Lillard, the Lakers are already among the heavy favorites to bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season. Pairing LeBron James and Anthony Davis with one of the best active point guards in the league would undoubtedly stretch the gap between the Lakers and other powerhouse teams in the league like the Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks. With the trio of James, Davis, and Lillard, the Lakers would have a strong chance of having another three-peat and establishing a dynasty in Los Angeles.