Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard + Giannis Antetokounmpo= Blazers Championship

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers run in the Orlando bubble sadly came to an end in the first round against the Lakers on August 29th. 

With the team back at home, the Blazers are still on the mind of some, though.

As the NBA offseason grows for more and more teams, a lot of questions loom, and so does the speculation. 

Bucks big man Giannis Anteokunmpo is at the top of that speculation list. 

The Eastern Conference's top-seeded Bucks are currently in a 3-1 hole to the Miami Heat, and questions surrounding the Greek Freak's long-term future in Milwaukee are plentiful. 

Many have tied Giannis to the Golden State Warriors when he becomes a free agent next year, but ESPN's Stephen A. Smith has other ideas. 

Smith suggests that if the Bucks do consider trading Giannis before he becomes unrestricted next season, he mentions Portland as a perfect fit:

You've got teams like Portland led by Damian Lillard who would love to have Giannis. You talk to a guy like Dame Dolla, he believes that 'Hey, Giannis and me together would win the chip.' Those are the kind of things that could be options out there if he can't get it done in Milwaukee.

Stephen A. Smith

Although any potential move for the reigning MVP seems far away, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lillard link up for the Blazers sounds like an exciting prospect.

A Lillard/Anteokunmpo pairing in a Western conference filled with star pairings already (Lakers, Clippers, Rockets, Nuggets etc.) would see a massive shift in how other teams and media few the Blazers.

Anteokunmpo will obviously bide his time and see how things pan out in the current NBA Playoffs. At the same time, this scenario doesn't look too improbable. 

The Blazers will have expiring contracts and a young stud in Zach Collins to give if this goes down the trade route.

 

Anteokunmpo still has a year left in his contract with the Bucks, so anything is currently up in the air in the offseason with the reigning MVP.

Portland has also taken on big money on the final year of deals before. Just look at the Hassan Whiteside trade last season. The Blazers paid the final $27M on Whiteside's $98M contract. That was a different time, though. They needed Whiteside to fill the void left by Jusuf Nurkic's leg injury and needed his services desperately. Could Nurkic and Giannis play on the same court together? Would Giannis be considered a one-year window or would they want to lock him up long-term? And what would that mean for the current roster composition? 

That's a loaded question with no easy answers. 

The Blazers want to make a run for the Finals, and this could be a piece that could help with that goal.

But, at what cost?

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon]: