In an appearance on NBA Today this weekend on ESPN, Marc Spears of Andscape hinted that the Celtics All-Star may be trying to recruit Lillard to Boston.
“I’m hearing Jayson Tatum is knocking on that door now too to figure out a way to get (Lillard) to come to Boston,” Spears said.
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According to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, the Celtics are one of several teams that have inquired with the Blazers about Lillard’s price after he demanded out.
“It did cause teams to pause, hold on, let’s wait on what he had planned and let’s look to see if we had a shot,” Haynes said on his This League Uncut Podcast. “The Clippers, the Timberwolves, Pelicans, Boston Celtics, those are the team off the top of my head, I’m pretty sure there were more, those were the teams that I know called out to reach out to see what it would take (to land Lillard).”
Lillard is making $45.6 million during the 2023-24 season so the Celtics would need to send out just over $41 million in a deal for salary-matching purposes to make the money work. He is also still under contract for at least the next three seasons with a $63 million player option for 2026-27 campaign.
The Blazers front office has made clear that they will trade Lillard in a deal that helps the franchise the most.
“We have been clear that we want Dame here but he notified us today he wants out and he’d prefer to play someplace else,” Blazers GM Joe Cronin said in a statement Saturday. “What has not changed for us is that we’re committed to winning, and we are going to do what’s best for the team in pursuit of that goal.”
MassLive broke down three possible trade proposals the Celtics could make for a Lillard deal earlier this week.