Grade the Trade idea: Mavericks land defensive ace in Damian Lillard blockbuster

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers
Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
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The most loyal star in the NBA has finally requested a trade. On July 1st, the second day of free agency, Damian Lillard notified the Portland Trailblazers that he wanted out. It's been a long time coming for soon-to-be 33-year-old Lillard, as he has spent his entire career with Portland.

Lillard has been a franchise staple since being selected 6th overall in 2012. He holds career averages of 25.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 3.1 threes per game. Lillard is also a poster boy for durability, only playing in less than 60 games twice in his entire career. He averages about 70 appearances per season.

Despite Lillard's strong individual contributions, the Blazers have lacked consistency during his tenure. Since Lillard was drafted, the Blazers have won more than 50 games three times. Yet, they have only made 1 conference finals appearance. And to make matters worse, they were swept in that 2019 series by the Warriors.

Throughout Lillard's time in Portland, other franchise cornerstones have come and gone while Lillard has stayed put. Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, and CJ McCollum, to name a few.

Recently, the Trailblazers have added talent through the draft, which has also coincided with two consecutive losing seasons. Although the Blazers have added Shaedon Sharpe and Scoot Henderson in back-to-back drafts, the timeline to being competitive is still far in the distance. Lillard realizes he does not mesh with the Blazers' apparent plan and is now looking for a way out.

How do the Mavs come into the equation? Sure, they won't be going after Lillard after signing Kyrie Irving to a new 3-year contract, but they would be more than willing to help facilitate a trade as long as they receive assets in doing so.

Here we will discuss a potential three-team trade involving Dallas, Portland, and Damian Lillard's ideal landing spot, the Miami Heat.