4 players most likely to be traded before the NBA season starts

From superstar trade requests to failed trade attempts, these four players remain on the block and could be moved over the next month.
Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden dribbles.
Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden dribbles. / Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 4

1. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

The Lillard trade request has dominated the NBA news headlines for the past two months. The superstar's request is understandable. He has played 11 seasons for the franchise without winning a championship. Individually, he has been one of the best players in the league during that stretch. Since 2013-14, he is second in the NBA in total points (17,814), trailing only Harden. He even led the Blazers to the Western Conference Finals in 2019 without an All-Star teammate.

However, Lillard's trade request puts the Blazers' organization in a rough spot. He has expressed his desire to only play in Miami, but the Heat lack top-level assets to improve the Blazers' long-term outlook. The Heat have managed to remain competitive every year. As a result, their first-round pick has only landed in the top 10 once since 2008. So, Miami's first-round picks offer little upside. Furthermore, the Blazers are reportedly not interested in Tyler Herro. Logically, a third team should be included to facilitate the deal.

Subsequently, the Lillard trade saga has been drawn out, but we may be finally building toward a resolution. Lillard talks are expected to "pick up" as we approach training camp, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. A deal could be reached soon.

The Whiteboard, FanSided's daily NBA email newsletter. dark. Subscribe. The Whiteboard Subscribe CTA