Minnesota Was Bill Simmons' Favorite Damian Lillard Destination

Photo Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Before the Portland Trail Blazers traded Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, Wosny Lambre joined Bill Simmons to talk Lilliard trade rumors. After suggesting that the Toronto Raptors would be a good fit, Wos threw out the Minnesota Timberwolves as a possible destination.

“I like Orlando as a sleeper team, and this is a team that has been mentioned before,” prompted Wos, “but if Portland somehow got it in their minds that Karl-Anthony Towns was a suitable pickup –”

“Yeah, that’s my favorite,” Simmons said, interrupting.

“I want to see Dame playing with Rudy and Ant, man,” Wos continued. “That would be incredible.”

Simmons agreed.

Yeah, so I asked you when you came on, what’s the most fun team for him to go to? And it’s unquestionably Minnesota. If they just pull off – the trade solves so many different issues, right? Minnesota, I want to really enjoy watching them all year.

I know I’m not going to with this Towns-Gobert thing. They’re never going to solve that, it’s never gonna work, and they’re gonna have to fix it at some point, so just fix it now.

And then, for Portland, we get the Dame trade anyway. I like Towns as a fit on that team.

I’m still like, we had Austin Rivers on the pod last week, and I was like, ‘What’s your take on Towns?’ And he’s like, ‘He’s a good guy.’ I mean, he really, he’s like, ‘You know, he’s frustrating, but he’s ultimately a good guy.’

Hitting his late 20s, which perennially in NBA history, guys figure it out a little bit by now if they’ve been a little bit choppy. But he has put up big stats. And for what Portland’s gonna be, that’s like the perfect guy to add to that team.

I just like the idea of Dame and Ant. I feel like that would be a top-5 League Pass team, right? I mean, no question.

Wos was pretty excited about a Dame to Minnesota trade.

For me, it would absolutely be a top-5. And I think Rudy would still be able to do enough defensively to make that thing happen, right? Between Ant and McDaniels, and Naz Ried, when Ant is locked in on defense, that is a core three of defenders that you can get some nice things going for yourself to sort of cover for your deficiencies at the 1 and the 4.

And offensively, I just think Dame and Ant can carry an offense, a playoff offense. It’s my belief that they can elevate that to competency in the playoffs, no matter who was around it. So yeah, I would be very excited about that. But I don’t think Portland is interested in doing that. Because for all the people who want to kill Dame Lillard, they don’t want to win. They’re not interested in a good team anymore.

They’re trying to build for the future with these young guys. I don’t think they want to bring in an obvious All-Star type of player who’s gonna demand touches, demand possessions, I don’t think they want to do that.

“My favorite destination is Minnesota,” confirmed Simmons. “The most logical trade to me is Toronto. The wild card trade is Philly-Brooklyn as a threesome. And then Miami, if they end up getting Dame at this point, I just think that would be because all of these trades, there was no substance to them whatsoever, and Miami was the only offer. Which is very possible, by the way.”

We know now that Milwaukee traded for Lillard. But Simmons was really high on Minnesota, making it all that much worse that he ended up on the wrong side of the border. What would Lillard have looked like next to Ant? We can only imagine.

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