Grade the trade for the Trail Blazers
All summer long, the drama surrounding Damian Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Miami Heat has dominated headlines, and this trade would see the talks come to an end.
Incoming: Kyle Lowry, Jaden Hardy, Jaime Jaquez Jr., 2027 1st-Round Pick Swap (via MIA), 2027 1st-Round Pick (via DAL), 2028 1st-Round Pick (via MIA), 2030 1st-Round Pick (via MIA)
Outgoing: Damian Lillard
Losing Lillard is a tough blow, but considering the Trail Blazers are headed for a rebuild, it’s a future they should embrace. And this return isn’t awful.
Jaden Hardy would step into a guard rotation that also includes Anfernee Simons and Scoot Henderson, but his potential would make him a solid choice to be the team’s sixth man next season.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. showed off his stuff during Summer League for the Heat, and his NBA-ready game would look great on a team of youngsters in Portland.
The Trail Blazers would be able to flip Kyle Lowry at the deadline, or if they just want to be rid of him, they could buy him out before the season begins.
The real prize for Portland in this deal would be the picks.
From Miami, the Trail Blazers would receive two unprotected picks in 2028 and 2030, as well as a pick swap in 2027. In 2027, Butler and Lillard will both be in their late 30s and close to retirement, meaning those selections could be very valuable for Portland.
As for Dallas’ pick, who knows what their team will look like in 2027?
Overall, Portland would probably hope for a better package for Lillard, but at this point, this isn’t the worst set of players and picks they could get back. And it would help them clear their books a bit moving forward.