The Trail Blazers‘ roster makeover this week has prompted multiple teams to place a call to Portland’s front office in an effort to engage in trade talks involving Damian Lillard, according to Marc Stein at Substack. However, Stein hears that those inquiries have been “swiftly rebuffed” by the Blazers.
Reporting following the CJ McCollum trade this week indicated that Portland’s plan is to reshape its roster around Lillard, and the star point guard still sounds committed to sticking it out with the Blazers. As Stein writes, there’s a growing expectation from the outside that Lillard probably won’t return from his abdominal surgery this season, with the Blazers seemingly shifting their short-term focus from playoff contention to draft positioning.
Here’s more from Stein:
- A source close to the situation tells Stein that the Rockets remain unwilling to consider a John Wall/Russell Westbrook swap unless the Lakers are willing to put their 2027 first-round pick in a deal. There has still been no indication that Los Angeles is open to that concept, says Stein.
- The Mavericks made a run at Caris LeVert before the Pacers traded him to Cleveland, but were unable to make a deal, according to Stein, who notes that the Cavaliers were able to offer better assets than Dallas. A Mavs offer may have required Indiana to take the long-term contract of injured swingman Tim Hardaway Jr., Stein writes.
- Although a trade of Myles Turner hasn’t been entirely ruled out, the big man is widely expected to remain with the Pacers through the deadline, per Stein.
- Stein says his best read of the James Harden/Ben Simmons situation is that there’s a price point at which the Nets would be willing to make a deal today, but it would be “steep” and it’s unclear if the Sixers have the appetite to meet it.