Rumors of the rift between the Damian Lillard and the Blazers’ front office has many teams around the league keeping an eye on the situation in Portland. The Pelicans are among the teams hoping to pry Lillard from the franchise, according to Bally Sports’ Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson.
New Orleans is willing to give up Brandon Ingram in a Lillard deal, Robinson adds. The franchise also has a surplus of first-round picks they are willing to move in order to pair the point guard with star forward Zion Williamson.
New Orleans has several extra first-round draft picks as a result of sending away Anthony Davis (to the Lakers) and Jrue Holiday (to the Bucks) in back-to-back offseasons.
In addition to their own, here’s a list of the first-rounders that the Pelicans possess:
- 2022 first-rounder (from Los Angeles Lakers)
- 2023 first-round pick swap (Lakers)
- 2024 first-rounder (Lakers)
- 2024 first-round pick swap (Milwaukee Bucks)
- 2025 first-rounder (Bucks)
- 2026 first-round pick swap (Bucks)
- 2027 first-rounder (Bucks)
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Ingram has progressed since coming to the Pelicans, though it remains to be seen if he’s the right fit next to Williamson. Lillard would theoretically be a much better fit given his overall skillset, though it remains to be seen whether he’d welcome a deal to New Orleans.
Despite the members of the media and others around the league asking for Lillard to leave, he has been extremely loyal to the city of Portland. However, over the last couple of days, Lillard has been under fire by the Blazers fan base because of the pending hire of Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups.
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