The Damian Lillard trade saga hasn’t had many major plot twists to this point. But it seems the Heat, the current front-runner in the eyes of many, might have some competition brewing from the Raptors.
Toronto is “very much in the mix” for a potential Lillard trade and “progress has been made,” according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange. But beyond that, Grange reports that the Raptors are also “reasonably confident” that they can move to the front of the line in the pursuit of Lillard, even ahead of the Heat.
By all accounts, the Raptors seem at least reasonably confident they can maneuver their way to the front of the line, past the Miami Heat — Lillard’s preferred destination — and ahead of a team such as the Brooklyn Nets, who have the draft picks to get something done if Portland is open to taking on the last two years of Ben Simmons’ contract. The Orlando Magic could also make themselves heard, per sources.
The Heat, Nets and the surprising addition of the Magic to that list are interesting to note as well. Up to this point, there had been little more than minor rumblings of interest from teams other than Miami.
Whether this actually comes to fruition or not with Toronto is the first question, but the second is how Lillard would potentially react if he’s dealt to anywhere other than Miami. If the Raptors do indeed emerge from the pack and get to the front of the line, it will add a number of intriguing storylines to an already head-scratching situation.