Houston Rockets Damian Lillard trade #3: The draft haul
If the Trail Blazers want the largest draft haul possible they’ll have to take on John Wall’s contract. Even though his contract remains an unmitigated disaster, he comes off the books in two seasons and can at least keep the Trail Blazers’ offense afloat as they look to rebuild.
A backcourt of C.J. McCollum and Wall isn’t going to make the playoffs in the Western Conference but the team will at least remain watchable over the next few seasons. It should also be noted, that for as great as Lillard is he has been a horrendous defensive player and Wall would likely represent a small upgrade there.
However, this deal works for the Trail Blazers because they’ll land a treasure trove of unprotected draft picks and a top-four 2021 first-round pick. The only way the Rockets can send that pick to the Trail Blazers is if the pick stays in the top-four and is not sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In total, the Rockets would send the Trail Blazers eight first-round picks, three 2021 first-round picks, two 2023 first-round picks, one 2024 first-round pick, one 2025 first-round pick, and Brooklyn’s 2026 first-round pick. The allure for the Trail Blazers is that they’ll be able to replace Lillard with a blue-chip prospect, add a plethora of future draft assets, and they’ll have close to $100 million in cap space to play with, in the summer of 2023.
If Lillard wants out, the Rockets have the ability to offer one of the best total draft packages that would include a surefire top pick. Future firsts are great but when they land outside of the top-10 they suddenly don’t look so good.
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