NBA Rumors: Damian Lillard Would Prefer To Be Traded To Knicks Or Sixers, Says League Insider

Damian Lillard demanding for the ball
Gettyimages | Steph Chambers

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard is one of the NBA superstars who are frequently mentioned in trade rumors. Lillard, who is currently focused on helping the Team USA win the gold medal in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, has already denied the reports that he's planning to demand a trade from the Trail Blazers this summer.

However, if the Trail Blazers are unable to build a title contender around him in the 2021 offseason, most people still believe that it would only be a matter of time before Lillard follows in the footsteps of other superstars and finds his way out of Portland.

Damian Lillard Wants To Head East If He Leaves Portland

Damian Lillard pointing to the opposite side of the court
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As of now, no one knows if or when Lillard would demand a trade from the Trail Blazers. However, if he really ends up parting ways with the team that selected him as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the latest rumors suggested that he would prefer to start a new journey in the Eastern Conference.

On Twitter, NBA insider Quinton Mayo revealed that the All-Star point guard "would like to be traded" to either the Philadelphia 76ers or the New York Knicks.

Damian Lillard Has 'Eyes' On Knicks

Damian Lillard driving into the basket
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Quinton wasn't the only league insider who mentioned the Knicks as Lillard's preferred landing spot. On Twitter, Grant Afseth of Sports Illustrated revealed that the All-Star point guard has his "eyes" on the Knicks should he and the Trail Blazers part ways this summer.

"Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard has his eyes on the New York Knicks among trade destinations in the event he were to be dealt, per a source," Afseth said.

Lillard would be an incredible addition to the Knicks. His potential arrival in New York would immediately address their need for a starting-caliber point guard and a legitimate superstar who would take them to the next level next season.

Sixers Finding Joel Embiid A New Superstar Running Mate

Meanwhile, the rumors linking Lillard to the Sixers started heating up when they got eliminated by the young Atlanta Hawks team in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. With Ben Simmons' dismal performance in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, most people believe that the Sixers need to find Joel Embiid a better superstar running mate to have a better chance of reaching the NBA Finals and ending their title drought.

Lillard would be a major upgrade over Simmons. Aside from being an incredible playmaker, he's one of the league's best three-point shooters. This season, he averaged 28.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

What Would It Take For Knicks & Sixers To Acquire Damian Lillard?

Damian Lillard signals it's Dame Time
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

Even if Lillard sees them as his ideal trade destinations this summer, acquiring him from the Trail Blazers won't be easy for the Knicks or the Sixers. To convince the Trail Blazers to engage in a blockbuster involving the face of their franchise, the Knicks and the Sixers should be prepared to pay the king's ransom.

For the Knicks, they would likely need to explore a trade package centered on RJ Barrett. Meanwhile, for the Sixers, though they have expressed willingness to trade Simmons, they may also have to include Tyrese Maxey and/or Shake Milton and future first-rounders in their offer to the Trail Blazers for Lillard.