The 2021 NBA offseason could be a wild one when it comes to trades. Not only is Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons involved in plenty of trade rumors, it's time to throw Portland Trail Blazers superstar guard Damian Lillard into the mix, too.
TrueHoop's Henry Abbott reported that Friday that "a source close to Lillard says that in the days to come, he plans to request a trade."
UPDATE (Friday, July 16 at 4:53 p.m. ET): Lillard responded to Abbott's report during a USA Basketball press conference on Friday.
--End of Update--
Lillard was selected by the Blazers with the No. 6 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He's one of the greatest players in franchise history. Lillard has been named an All-Star six times and also has been selected to six All-NBA teams.
Team success has eluded Lillard in Portland, though. In his nine seasons with the Blazers, the team has made the playoffs eight times but only advanced past the first round on three occasions. Portland has made only one Western Conference Finals appearance during that span, too. The Blazers have been eliminated in Round 1 in each of the last two seasons.
The Blazers have a decent roster, but they aren't a legit contender in the West and probably won't be in the near future. The chances of Lillard winning a championship in Portland appear pretty slim. He's also 31 years old, so if he wants to spend the rest of his prime on a contender, the time to leave Portland probably is now.
Could the Celtics be a potential Lillard destination?
The Celtics do need a point guard after the Kemba Walker trade, but would you give up Jaylen Brown to acquire Lillard? Brown scored a career-high 24.7 points per game last season and was named an All-Star for the first time. He's also seven years younger than Lillard and signed to a much cheaper contract that runs for three more seasons.
From a need/fit standpoint, the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks make sense for Lillard.
Either way, a player of his caliber should have plenty of value. You won't find too many players who can score as efficiently as Lillard.