In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, rumors have started to circulate around All-Star point guard Damian Lillard and his future with the Portland Trail Blazers. If the Trail Blazers suffer another huge disappointment in the 2019-20 NBA season, there is speculation that Lillard could follow in the footsteps of other superstars and find his way out of Portland. If Lillard really decides to part ways with the Trail Blazers, one of his preferred trade destinations is the New York Knicks.
In a recent article, Gus Martin of Fadeaway World created two hypothetical blockbuster deals that would enable the Knicks to land Lillard in the 2020 offseason. The Knicks would definitely prefer the deal that would allow them to keep former No. 3 overall pick RJ Barrett, the player that they are planning to build around this fall. In the proposed scenario, the Knicks would be sending a trade package that includes Kevin Knox II, Elfrid Payton, Julius Randle, a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2021 first-round pick to the Trail Blazers in exchange for Lillard.
The deal works on ESPN's NBA Trade Machine. Trading all those assets would definitely be worth it for the Knicks if it means acquiring a player of Lillard's caliber. Lillard alone may not be enough to turn the Knicks into a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference, but Martin thinks that his arrival in New York would be a huge step forward for an NBA team that has been sitting at the bottom of the league for years.
"With Lillard mentoring Barrett and Frank Ntilikina, and Mitchell Robinson continuing to improve, New York could finally have a team worth being excited about. Bobby Portis is a decent power forward and Taj Gibson is another veteran locker room presence, and with less congestion in the frontcourt, they both could shine in their roles. The Knicks won't be in title contention next year, but they'll at least have a direction and create optimism within fans for the first time in years."
Successfully acquiring Lillard this offseason would finally fulfill the Knicks' dream of adding a legitimate superstar to their roster. With Lillard on their side, it wouldn't be a surprise if the Knicks start becoming an attractive destination for star players once again. If the Knicks manage to add more star power to the team and their young core speeds up their development, it may only be a matter of time before they start competing for a championship title once again.