The Suns could end up waiving or trading guard Chris Paul, which would open up a void at the point guard spot on the roster.
According to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney, an Eastern Conference executive believes that the team wants to free up its payroll and see if there is a way to add Lillard to the roster.
“There is a lot that can happen there,” the executive said. “The Suns need depth all over that roster. They want to free up their payroll. They want to see if there is a way to bring in Dame. They want to see what they can do with a Deandre Ayton deal. There is a lot on the table. And the [Los Angeles] Lakers need to know where they are going with [D’Angelo] Russell. They’re not just letting him walk. They traded a pick for him. And who knows if they could get Chris to sign a vet minimum deal or what?”
The Suns would have to trade for Lillard, and it seems like that is an unlikely scenario for the team at this point.
First off, the Blazers could still keep Lillard this offseason, especially since they have trade chips — including the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft — that they could use to bolster the roster.
If the Blazers do decide to rebuild and trade Lillard, the Suns lack young players and draft capital to send to the Blazers in return.
Ayton would almost certainly have to be the centerpiece in any Lillard deal, but the Suns have already expended draft picks by trading for Kevin Durant at the deadline during the 2022-23 season.
There’s no doubt that a trio of Lillard, Durant and Devin Booker would be a nightmare to defend, but a trade for Lillard seems like a bit of a stretch for Phoenix given the assets it has at the moment.
This season, Lillard was great for the Blazers, but the team failed to make the play-in tournament in the Western Conference. The seven-time All-Star 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.
Portland has some important decisions to make this offseason, as the team could use or trade the No. 3 overall pick to bolster the roster. In addition to that, Jerami Grant is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
It will be interesting to see if Phoenix can put together a package that is worthwhile for the Blazers to move their franchise star.