With the emergence of Anfernee Simons which I’ve expected for years now Damian Lillard is finding himself as the odd-man out in Portland at the moment. Anfernee Simons has been able to carry the Portland Trailblazers in Dame’s absence and are only a game or two away from possibly qualifying for the play-in tournament assuming they keep up their current pace. The Boston Celtics have turned things around over the past few weeks and we’ve heard Jaylen Brown’s name in trade rumors all of this season. Some feel the Boston Celtics will look to add a third piece to go with Jaylen and Tatum but they just don’t have the assets or young piece to get it done. Rumored destinations for Damian Lillard are the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz but they don’t have anyone that would make Brad Stevens cough up Jaylen Brown who is the best two way shooting-guard in the game at the moment.
Chauncey Billups could marvel at a possible Simons/Lillard backcourt which would be different than the Lillard/McCollum duo we saw flame out in the playoffs year after year being that Simons is a better defender than McCollum and more of a combo guard with better play-making ability but I just think Portland needs to move on. Damian Lillard just isn’t the first option on a championship team and wold be better suited alongside Jayson Tatum who is more capable of being a legitimate first-option on a championship team. Jaylen Brown and Anfernee Simons would give Portland a more traditional backcourt with size,athleticism,play-making, and shooting all the while having more compatible skill-sets a lot like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Damian Lillard must comes to grips with the fact that the NBA is a business, don’t believe me look at Tyrese Haliburton who wanted to be the one to change the culture in Sacramento and was traded away at the deadline at the ripe age of 21 years old. Damian Lillard has exceeded expectations as a former 5th overall pick, he went on some massive scoring runs to carry the Blazers into the playoffs,hit incredible shots to close out a series, but he has also fell short of pulling through when he has the opportunity to get from under the shadow of Stephen Curry. Sometimes I believe he wasn’t dealt the most fare hand since Lamarcus Aldridge up and left for the San Antonio Spurs and their went his co-star through the 2010’s and nothing but the utmost praise for him shouldering the franchise after Lamarcus left but it’s time to part ways.
The same could be said for Jaylen Brown who was part of the Celtics’s magical run without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward the 2018 NBA Playoffs where they lost at the hands of LeBron James in Game 7. Jaylen got all the way to the Conference Finals in the Bubble and was injured during last year’s playoffs where the Celtics lost in 5 games against Kevin Durant’s Brooklyn Nets, so yes I do want to see what Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum could do this season in the playoffs but I am not expecting anything beyond a second-round exit. I guess if they make the Conference Finals this season maybe you run it back one more time but that Boston bench is super thin and Embiid,Durant,and Giannis have better supporting casts than Tatum. I really feel Jayson Tatum could become a top 5 player in the NBA but it won’t be alongside Brown.
Sometimes a change of a personnel could do wonders, look at how much the Sacramento Kings improved the moment they moved on from Jason Williams. Jason Williams was awing crowds around the NBA with his And-1 street-ball basketball skills but what took the Sacramento Kings to the next level was the acquisition of Mike Bibby who complimented the Kings’s frontcourt of Divac/Webber due to being a marksman which Jason wasn’t. I believe this swap would change the fortunes of each franchise and it’s a swap where both parties won’t go wrong, till next time.