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Toronto Raptors Emerge As Frontrunners to Acquire Damian Lillard

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PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 19: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the game on March 19, 2023 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Damian Lillard saga is getting more twisted by the minute.

According to ESPN’s Marc Spears on NBA Today, the Toronto Raptors have become the favorites as a potential destination for the Portland Trail Blazers superstar. Spears added that the interest from the Miami and Chicago camps is decreasing.

The hottest name that I’m hearing right now is the Toronto Raptors. Talked to two high-ranking team executives today, and they said Toronto is the front-runner and wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up in “The Six.”

Right now, though, there is no trade imminent. There is nothing hot, but I do know that the Toronto Raptors are interested suitors.

Marc Spears

Spears also mentioned that the Raptors GM Masai Ujiri has rolled the dice before with Kawhi Leonard. That gamble resulted in a championship despite Leonard bolting to the Clippers afterward. Furthermore, Lillard’s reputation as a professional suggests he will likely attend and play for the team.

In the same segment, Spears reported that the two executives he conversed with anticipate Lillard’s departure before the scheduled NBA Media Day on October 2.

With all the reports surrounding Damian Lillard, it’s important to take everything with a grain of salt. A week ago, an NBA insider considered the Raptors as the surprise team in the Dame sweepstakes. Now, they are the front runners. 

A few days later, John Gamabadoro of Arizona Sports said the seven-time All-Star could be traded within the next 24 hours. Gambadoro’s intel suggested the Phoenix Suns are in the mix and could dangle DeAndre Ayton.

So far, nothing has materialized. Lillard wants to go to Miami, but Portland won’t agree unless the Heat offer more than Tyler Herro and a couple of draft picks.

With all these rumors swirling, the only sure thing is that a Lillard deal is in the works. However, where he will take his talents next season is very much up in the air.