Portland Trail Blazers superstar point guard Damian Lillard has yet to get past the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs. Even though Golden State is no longer a juggernaut since Kevin Durant is on the Brooklyn Nets and Klay Thompson is out with injury, Stephen Curry and Co. are still in the way of Lillard’s Blazers.
One of the best players in the NBA, Damian Lillard has made it clear he wants to spend his entire career with the Blazers and has no intention of forming a superteam elsewhere. However, that doesn’t mean the All-Star guard doesn’t want Portland to add more talent to the roster.
Damian Lillard is 1-12 against the Warriors in the playoffs
Damian Lillard and the Blazers have faced the Warriors three times in the playoffs. Portland is 1-12 and has gotten swept twice by Golden State.
Stephen Curry has always had more talent around him than Lillard, a big reason why the Warriors have never been scared of the Blazers in the postseason. Ever since LaMarcus Aldridge left Portland for the San Antonio Spurs in free agency, Lillard hasn’t had an All-Star next to him to go up against the Warriors. While C.J. McCollum is a stout scorer, he’s never been selected to an All-Star team since the Western Conference is so rugged.
The Warriors aren’t going to contend for a championship in 2020-21 since Klay Thompson is missing his second straight season after tearing his right Achilles tendon. Some people around the NBA believe Golden State will look to trade Draymond Green and get some assets in return for the former Defensive Player of the Year if the team isn’t competing for a playoff spot near the 2021 trade deadline.
If that happens, Damian Lillard and the Blazers could have an interest in acquiring the heart and soul of the Warriors.
Damian Lillard has ‘been campaigning’ the Blazers for a Draymond Green trade
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Damian Lillard wants the Blazers to trade for Draymond Green if the Warriors make the All-Star forward available in trade talks. In the summer of 2019, Green signed a four-year, $99.7 million extension with Golden State.
“If we were handicapping Draymond trade destinations if the Warriors decided to blow it up…that’s the one. Damian and his group have for the last couple years been campaigning for that,” Amick said on The Athletic NBA Show.
Green is undoubtedly the leader of the Warriors even though Stephen Curry is the best player. Recently, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr talked about how important Green is to the team.
“Draymond, he’s our leader, and to go through camp the first week without our leader was difficult, and he made his presence felt immediately with advice in the film session and advice on the floor and a whole lot of trash talking, too,” Kerr said, via ESPN. “So the energy level just skyrocketed. It was great to have Draymond back.”
A Draymond Green trade would signal that the Warriors are rebuilding this season despite Curry being healthy and putting up elite numbers. Damian Lillard and the Blazers, who can’t compete with the LA Lakers or LA Clippers as currently constructed, would become legitimate title contenders with Green in the fold.
Draymond Green has been a terrific swiss army knife for the Warriors
The Warriors drafted Draymond Green with the 35th overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Michigan State. Along with winning three titles, Green has compiled averages of 8.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. He’s one of the top swiss army knives in the league, and the Blazers would be thrilled to acquire him since he would help the club improve on both sides of the floor.
The Blazers have never been effective on defense during the Damian Lillard era. That would immediately change if Green were in Portland, as his communication, ability to defend all five positions, and tenacity would propel the Blazers to new heights.
It remains to be seen if the Warriors will actually trade Draymond Green. There’s still a lot of time between now and the 2021 trade deadline. However, it appears Damian Lillard and the Blazers have their eyes on the former Michigan State Spartan.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.