Damian Lillard Trade: Celtics’ Odds For Blockbuster After Raptors Rumor

Is Toronto really the frontrunner for the Blazers star?


Sep 27, 2023

UPDATE (2:30 p.m. ET): The Portland Trail Blazers reportedly traded Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team deal with the Phoenix Suns.

ORIGINAL STORY: It sure feels like the Celtics are done with their heavy lifting this offseason, swapping Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porzingis and signing Jaylen Brown to a supermax contract extension.

Yet, there’s one name that continues to move the needle in Boston as it relates to potential trade targets: Damian Lillard.

Lillard, a seven-time NBA All-Star, requested a trade from the Trail Blazers back in July. So far, Portland has balked at dealing away its longtime point guard, but a separation still seems inevitable. And Lillard reportedly wants to play for the Miami Heat.

As such, the Heat were the betting favorites to land Lillard as of Wednesday afternoon, with DraftKings Sportsbook putting their odds at -250 on the 33-year-old’s next-team market.

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Lillard’s current franchise was second on the betting board for which team he’ll play his next regular-season minute with during the 2023-24 campaign. The Blazers had +300 odds.

This isn’t entirely surprising given the news cycle of the past couple of months. But ESPN’s Marc J. Spears reported Monday, citing two high-ranking NBA team executives, that the Raptors entered this week as the frontrunners to acquire Lillard. Toronto sat third on DraftKings Sportsbook’s futures board Wednesday, with +400 odds to pry Lillard out of Portland.

So, where do the Celtics stand?

Again, it feels like a long shot for Boston to acquire Lillard, especially after signing Brown to a massive extension. (The Celtics are prohibited from trading Brown for a year.) And that sentiment is reflected in the odds.

The Los Angeles Clippers (+1200) and Philadelphia 76ers (+1400) immediately followed Miami, Portland and Toronto on DraftKings Sportsbook’s betting board Wednesday. Then came Boston at +1600.

Here’s a more detailed overview of the Lillard next-team odds as of Wednesday afternoon:

Miami Heat -250
Portland Trail Blazers +300
Toronto Raptors +400
Los Angeles Clippers +1200
Philadelphia 76ers +1400
Boston Celtics +1600
Brooklyn Nets +1800
San Antonio Spurs +2500
Utah Jazz +2500
Milwaukee Bucks +3000
Cleveland Cavaliers +3500
Chicago Bulls +4000
New Orleans Pelicans +4000
Los Angeles Lakers +5000
Memphis Grizzlies +5000

Essentially, this feels like a two-horse race between Miami and Toronto, should Portland ultimately move its franchise cornerstone amid a rebuild centered around 2023 No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson. Even then, it’s possible this week’s Raptors report is smoke and mirrors, aimed at driving up the Blazers’ asking price in negotiations with the Heat.

Spears added Monday, citing a source, that no trade between the Blazers and Raptors was imminent despite the teams having recent conversations. He also noted the Celtics, Bucks, 76ers and Bulls showed interest in Lillard since his initial trade request.

Thumbnail photo via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images

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