This Blazers-Pacers Trade Is Focused Around Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Trade Rumors, New York Knicks
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers Receive: G Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: C Domantas Sabonis, G Malcolm Brogdon, C Chris Duarte, 2022 First-Round Pick, 2023 First-Round Pick Swap, 2024 First-Round Picks, 2026 First-Round Pick

This deal would certainly qualify as a blockbuster. Big-name players are being swapped between the Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers and a ton of draft picks are being included as well.

The Pacers land Damian Lillard in this deal, giving them the superstar they crave. Indiana isn’t a hotbed for free agents, so they have to get lucky in the draft, as they did with Reggie Miller and Paul George. Or, they can be active in trades, as they were for Mark Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, and Ron Artest.

Lillard provides a star power that will catapult the Pacers into the upper half of the Eastern Conference. The price to acquire him is steep, but Indiana has done a good job of building up the depth on the roster, so they will still have a strong team around the star point guard.

Portland comes out with a lot of pieces. Domantas Sabonis headlines this deal. The two-time All-Star will be welcomed with open arms as the son of Arvydas Sabonis, who spent the entirety of his Hall of Fame basketball career in the NBA with the Trail Blazers.

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Joining him is Malcolm Brogdon, a very solid replacement in the backcourt. He has come into his own with the Pacers after beginning his career with the Milwaukee Bucks. Brogdon averaged 21.2 points per game this past season and is a member of the illustrious 50/40/90 shooting split club.

Chris Duarte is an older rookie after being selected 13th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft but should find minutes right away on the wing in Portland. At 24-years old, he is ready to contribute instantly.

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The Trail Blazers are also receiving a boatload of draft picks. In 2022, 2024, and 2026 they are getting unprotected first-round picks. In 2023, they have the right to swap picks should they choose to. If they do end up rebuilding, those picks will help build the foundation of the next Portland core.

How does this blockbuster trade shake out for both teams? Let’s take a look at its impact, beginning with the Pacers.

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