Grade the trade: Blockbuster proposal sends Damian Lillard to Jazz

Utah Jazz, Damian Lillard. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Utah Jazz, Damian Lillard. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Utah Jazz have a ton of draft capital and CEO Danny Ainge is positioning the franchise to land a superstar. They acquired John Collins in a salary dump this summer, but the Jazz received massive hauls for Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell that puts them near the front of the line in any blockbuster. Damian Lillard is on the block after the seven-time All-Star requested a trade, but will Utah cash their chips in?

Now is the perfect time for Utah. Lauri Markkanen became an All-Star last season and Walker Kessler shined as a rookie. Both can play key roles, and the Jazz do not have a massive contract on their books. They could easily acquire Dame and continue building out their roster.

Lillard wants out of Portland to compete for a championship, but he does not possess a no-trade clause. The 32-year-old prefers Miami, but the Trail Blazers have no obligation to send him there. They should be looking for the best return, and the Jazz are rumored to be interested, but what would a trade look like?

Utah Jazz land Damian Lillard in hypothetical blockbuster

The Jazz must give up at least three draft picks plus salary matching to get a deal done. The picks could come from Minnesota and Cleveland, but here is the trade Bleacher Report laid out.

Portland would get first-round draft picks from the Timberwolves in 2025 and 2027 along with a 2029 first-rounder from the Cavaliers in this hypothetical.

They just drafted Scoot Henderson third overall and agreed to a massive contract with Jerami Grant. Add in Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe and the Blazers could be building something. Henderson must become a superstar, but he has that potential. The three first-round picks would give Portland the firepower to add pieces via trade. Would they do this deal? Here’s a closer look.