scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Report: Toronto Raptors emerging as front-runner for Damian Lillard trade, Celtics have shown interest

Damian Lillard asked for a trade after 11 seasons with the Trail Blazers.Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

The Toronto Raptors have risen to front-runner status as a potential trade destination for Damian Lillard, according to a report from Marc Spears of ESPN’s Andscape.

Spears also listed the Celtics, along with the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, and Miami Heat, as teams that have expressed interest in acquiring Lillard.

No deal is imminent, per Spears, though he said the Raptors have had recent conversations with the Portland Trail Blazers surrounding the superstar point guard. Spears cited two NBA executives who expect Lillard to be traded by media day on Oct. 2.

Lillard requested a trade over the summer and it had long been reported that the Miami Heat were his preferred landing spot. But per Spears, the Heat and Trail Blazers haven’t come close in talks, with Miami’s initial offer including Tyler Herro and two first-round draft picks. Spears’ sources believe Lillard will be traded by NBA media day on Oct. 2.


Lillard, 33, is coming off a massive year in which he logged a career-high 32.2 points per game, along with 7.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds, but Portland has missed the playoffs the past two seasons.

Ethan Fuller can be reached at