Lillard, of course, has demanded a trade to the Heat — and only the Heat.
“I don’t think anyone likes the idea of Dame coming in and forcing the Blazers’ hand like this, forcing them to take a deal from a team that does not have the assets,” the executive told Deveney. “That’s a bad precedent, and it is one we are seeing too much of. But if Dame had not said, ‘Miami or nothing,’ where else was Portland really going to go for a deal? Maybe Brooklyn? But where else?
“There’s not that many teams that are going to give you a bunch of players and picks for a 33-year-old who can’t stay healthy and has a giant contract sitting there.”
So far, per reports, the Blazers have not found anything even close to their liking.
“Of course, owners don’t want players picking their trade destination and shutting out the other 28 teams,” the executive told Deveney. “But it was not anything Dame said or (agent) Aaron Goodwin said that shut down the market. That stuff didn’t help. But there weren’t teams lined up for him even before that.”
Small forward Kenrich Williams will be a key factor as the Thunder look to push forward behind the likes of guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, and rookie center/forward Chet Holmgren, wrote Ivan White of Sports Illustrated.
“With as valuable as Williams is defensively, he will make a solid case to be the first player off the bench for Oklahoma City next season,” White wrote. “He is not the prototypical offensive-minded sixth man like Isaiah Joe, but he has few weaknesses in his game, especially for the role he will be asked to play.
“Along with his defensive prowess, Williams’ rebounding helped the Thunder tremendously last season.”
McGee has compiled career averages of 7.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks, and has won three championships — two with the Warriors (2017 and ’18) and another with the Lakers (2020).