We’ve seen Damian Lillard go coast-to-coast in games, but we might also see him go coast-to-coast this offseason.
According to New York Post’s Marc Berman, the Knicks will be “ready to pounce” if the Trail Blazers All-Star guard is made available this summer.
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes painted a grim picture of Lillard’s time in Portland, with diminishing returns and early playoff departures
The Knicks have enough space for plugs and plenty of commercial ammo to at least sniff out a deal featuring Lillard; New York currently sits with five first-round picks in the next three NBA Drafts in part because of the Kristaps Porzingis trade, with a league high in cap space slated for the 2021 offseason.
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The Knicks could easily fit Lillard’s remaining money (over $ 39 million) into their salary situation. Lillard has a four-year contract extension starting next season.
Some speculation is that Lillard, who turns 31 in July, could be on the move after another OK but not great year for Portland; The Trail Blazers are the sixth seed in the Western Conference and have reached the Western Conference final once (2018-19 season) with Lillard. They failed to get past the first round in four seasons when Lillard was a Blazer.
The Knicks rise with Tom Thibodeau at the helm, No.4 in the Eastern Conference just weeks before the start of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. With a core that includes RJ Barrett and the likely winner of the NBA Most Improved Player award at Julius Randle, New York is a viable landing spot with a good cast of support for Lillard.
New York has long sought a solution to its playmaking dilemma for years, and it may soon be “Dame Time” on the East Coast.