Report: Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls linked to Damian Lillard

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers reportedly have been linked to Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard regarding a potential trade.

Lillard requested a trade from Portland this offseason, but the team has yet to deal the seven-time All-Star as it looks for the best deal available on the market.

The Blazers have some leverage in Lillard negotiations since the star guard is under contract beyond the 2023-24 season.

Lillard’s deal runs through the 2025-26 season, and he has a player option for the 2026-27 campaign. That means the Blazers could hold onto him and wait for the right suitor to come along.

Each of these Eastern Conference teams would be an interesting fit for Lillard. All three teams are hoping to contend for playoff spots, and the Bucks and 76ers certainly have even bigger goals in mind. The Bulls may as well. Adding a player of Lillard’s caliber would certainly help the cause.

The seven-time All-NBA selection averaged 32.2 points and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc last season.

Chicago could use a point guard with Lonzo Ball already ruled out for the 2023-24 season. Ball has been dealing with knee troubles that sidelined him for the entire 2022-23 season as well.

With the Bulls perhaps looking to make the most of their core, Lillard would give the team some new life.

As for the Bucks, they could be looking for a replacement for Jrue Holiday down the line. Holiday is one of the best guards in the NBA, but he has a player option on his contract for the 2024-25 season.

That means he could opt out and hit free agency, and the Bucks may not be able to bring him back. Lillard could be looked at as an insurance policy in case Holiday leaves the franchise.

The Sixers also make a ton of sense because they have a disgruntled star guard in James Harden. If the Blazers would be willing to take on Harden in a swap, it would make a lot of sense for Philly to add a guard who is under contract for multiple seasons to pair with Joel Embiid.

For now, it seems like the Blazers are holding out to get the best offer possible before dealing one of the greatest players in their franchise’s history.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.