The Portland Trail Blazers‘ playoff shortcomings quickly shift the conversation over to Damian Lillard‘s future. It’s led to the chatter around possible trade scenarios the Blazers could receive. Stephen A. Smith recently has now chimed in by stating the Los Angeles Lakers should include Anthony Davis in a trade offer.
Damian Lillard holds uncertain future with the Blazers
After falling short in the playoffs, the Blazers face lingering questions concerning Lillard’s future.
The star point guard hasn’t aired a desire for a trade, but the scenario is gaining traction this offseason. The 31-year-old saw another year of his prime pass by without serious NBA title contention. Meanwhile, he’s beginning the first year of his four-year, $176.2 million extension that runs through the 2024-25 campaign.
Lillard remains mum on the discussion while shooting down reports suggesting he’s considering a trade demand. As the chatter remains prevalent, a longtime sports TV personality voiced an offer the Lakers could make to land the All-Star.
Stephen A. Smith suggests the Lakers should trade Anthony Davis for Damian Lillard
Since chatter sprouted concerning Lillard’s future in Portland, the Lakers remain a constant as a potential landing spot if the star guard demanded a trade.
Los Angeles currently doesn’t possess a wealth of appealing assets that would intrigue the Blazers. However, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith voiced on First Take on Monday that he believes the Lakers should offer Davis to land the six-time All-Star.
“I would even consider trading Anthony Davis from the Los Angeles Lakers to get Damian Lillard with LeBron James because this season, Anthony Davis missed more games, or just as many games, as Damian Lillard missed his entire career,” Smith said. “I would actually consider that if I were Portland and I were the Los Angeles Lakers.”
The star big man is in the same stratosphere as Lillard as one of the league’s best talents. A trade offer that included the 28-year-old would triumph any other offer the Blazers could reasonably receive in terms of talent. However, the Lakers hold a strong unwillingness to move Davis in any situation given his unique ability and how well he and LeBron James play together.
Injuries have plagued him throughout much of his career, but his importance to the Lakers’ NBA title chances are clearly defined. Davis is the backbone of the defense while being the team’s primary offensive factor. He has also already proven to be a franchise’s centerpiece that can lead to serious championship contention.
It’s no shot at Lillard’s remarkable talent, but rather a trade to move Davis for the star point guard wouldn’t be a step forward toward another NBA title.
Lakers hold busy offseason plans ahead
As much as the Lakers would love to acquire Lillard, the team doesn’t want that to come at the cost of giving up Davis.
Los Angeles will hold other offseason options to revamp the backcourt without losing one of its star talents. Guards such as Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie, Collin Sexton, and Lonzo Ball have been mentioned as possible targets.
The front office could elect to bring back Dennis Schroder on a lucrative long-term deal. The Lakers may also explore the trade market with Kyle Kuzma as a primary piece of any offer.
Los Angeles holds many different routes to improve the roster that far extends beyond Lillard. The team wants to build a championship-contending roster and will exercise almost every option to make that happen. All that sets up what should be quite a busy summer for the Lakers.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.