NBA rumors: One Damian Lillard suitor could drop out in favor of another star

Damian Lillard, James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Damian Lillard, James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Los Angeles Clippers were reportedly a favorite for Damian Lillard, but one NBA insider says another star could move their focus. 

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Los Angeles Clippers appear to be in line to get involved in a pursuit of a James Harden trad.

Subsequently, this would take the Clippers out of the Damian Lillard sweepstakes as they would be using their remaining draft picks and expiring contracts to land Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers instead of in a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Heat have remained the outright favorite to land Lillard, but the back-and-forth is still ongoing. However, Los Angeles appears to be in on that information, which could be a reason that they’re pivoting their attention to Harden.

NBA Rumors: With Clippers focused on Harden trade, how will negotiations go?

The Sixers are in a situation where they have very nothing to gain by waiting to trade Harden. However, Daryl Morey is a GM who will want the right trade offer, not something he’ll settle for. It has worked in the past for him as the 76ers were able to turn Ben Simmons and picks into Harden in a previous trade.

The Clippers’ trade offer will most likely involve expiring contracts and draft picks that will convert at the end of the decade. Additionally, it seems like LA is among the only teams that could contend now by adding the superstar. With Harden aging and set to be a free agent after the 2023-24 season, the Clippers make the most sense.

Trading for Harden could be one of the final big swings in the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George era of the franchise. They have long needed a high-end facilitator and, while Harden is an elite scorer, his ability to create is top-tier as well.

If the Clippers are going out, it might be worth it to do so in style.

Next. NBA rumors: 4 teams not named Heat or Nets engaged on Damian Lillard trade. dark