Livescore Tuesday, April 23

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is probably tired of addressing trade rumors. Still, the 32-year-old entertained the subject during an interview with Showtime’s “The Last Stand,” as he responded to some potential landing spots.

He was asked which team he would be most comfortable being hypothetically traded to out of the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Miami Heat or Boston Celtics.

Although he clearly stated in the interview that he’s confident he’ll still be in Portland by the start of next season, one team seemed especially interesting to him.

“Miami, obviously,” he said quickly, adding that All-Star center Bam Adebayo is his “dog.” In addition to their friendship, it probably can’t hurt that the team’s “Heat Culture” is currently on full display in the NBA Finals.

Lillard added that Brooklyn is “another obvious one” because of his relationship with Mikal Bridges, adding that the Nets and the Heat “both have capable rosters.”

He emphasized his hopes to see Portland become a competitor, something Miami did against seemingly all odds this season.

“I think I’ve made it clear what my wishes are. I want to have the opportunity to win in Portland, and right now we’ve got an opportunity asset-wise to build a team that can compete,” Lillard said. “That would be the No. 1 thing, but if we can’t do that, then obviously, like I’ve said for months now, then it’s a separate conversation that we would have to have.”

The 7-time All Star was shut down toward the end of Portland’s season as he dealt with a calf injury. When the decision was made, the team was 32-43 and sitting in 13th place in the Western Conference. He noted that no matter what move is made, there’s no sure bet that he’ll be playing for a championship contender.

“We just have to let things take its course and see where it lands and go from there. But there’s no guarantee that I’d be playing in June, regardless of the situation,” he said.

He opted not to speak on the Knicks or Celtics. While it’s unclear how Lillard feels about those two options, the bottom line is that any team attempting to snag Lillard could face some potential challenges.

He is under contract with Portland through the 2025-26 season, with a player option for 2026-27. In May, general manager Joe Cronin told Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer that Portland is “trying to win and trying to maximize Damian’s timeline.”

The team has the No. 3 pick in the June 22 draft and could leverage it to make changes for a more competitive roster in Portland. This could include packaging the pick with a player like Anfernee Simons to get some major help toward a playoff push, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. But other teams are “skeptical Portland will find a suitable trade partner” for the top pick, Fischer reported Tuesday.

If that doesn’t change, Lillard’s trade destination considerations could become a little less hypothetical.

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