Detroit Pistons And Brooklyn Nets Join Damian Lillard Speculation

The East Coast rebuilds aren't in the running for Lillard, but they could help get a trade done.

BYBen Mock
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Portland Trail Blazers v Philadelphia 76ers

Damian Lillard formally requested a trade on July 2, citing the Miami Heat as his preferred destination. However, with Lillard not holding a no-trade clause, the Blazers have been steadfast in seeking the best deal for the team. This has been a problem for the Heat, who haven't been wowing the Blazers with their Tyler Herro-centric offers. Meanwhile, Lillard's agent has reportedly been contacting prospective Lillard suitors and telling them to back off. Reportedly, Aaron Gordon has told teams that they would get an "unhappy" version of Lillard if he was sent to a team other than the Heat.

This has led to something of a stalemate. The Blazers are demanding "best offers" only from prospective trade partners will Gordon is trying to force a move to Miami. However, returning to Miami, the Blazers have essentially gone on record to say that either the Heat up their offer or find a third team to add to the trade if Herro is a dealbreaker asset. This has led to a very surprising name entering the trade saga - the Detroit Pistons.

Pistons Could Be Third Team in Lillard Trade

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 09: Hunter and Saint LaVine with Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull after the game against the Detroit Pistons at United Center on April 09, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Per Chris Hayes, the Pistons could be a team that Miami includes in a trade in order to acquire Lillard. The Pistons skew very young right now, with four of their five projected starters aged 22 or younger. What the Pistons really lack is some more experienced productive talent. Sure, Tyler Herro is only 23. However, he has four seasons of NBA experience and is coming off back-to-back 20+ ppg seasons. Herro would have been the Pistons' second-highest scorer last year.

However, Herro doesn't really make sense for the Pistons either, as he'd primarily compete for playing time with Cade Cunningham and Jalen Ivey. A team that makes more sense to include in a three-team trade would be the Brooklyn Nets. Herro would be an upgrade at point guard over Spencer Dinwiddie and the Nets have a buttload of draft capital. While the deal would obviously have a lot of moving parts, the headline acquisitions could be as follows:

  • Miami gets Damian Lillard from Portland
  • Brooklyn gets Tyler Herro from Miami
  • Portland gets draft capital from Brooklyn + player from Miami

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.