AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Backcourt Paring Of Damian Lillard And Book

The Phoenix Suns are coming off a 2021 finals appearance in which they were just two games away from a title, while Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers are coming off another first-round exit from the playoffs. Both of these teams have something that the other does not: The Suns played outstanding defense all year while the Trail Blazers played nearly no defense at all, but Portland has a top-two point guard in Lillard while Phoenix ultimately fell short with the aging Chris Paul.

A deal to swap Paul and Lillard would not be easy, as the Blazers would have to come to terms with letting their superstar point guard leave. Chris Paul would need to accept his player option at $44.5 million dollars, but I doubt he would walk away from that much money for one season. If those stipulations were met, the most difficult aspect of the deal would be getting Paul on board to play in Portland. The deal would cost a pretty penny for the Suns, and they would likely have to give up Cameron Johnson, Dario Šarić, four first-round picks, and maybe Jae Crowder in addition to Paul.

Respect For One Another

Lillard has expressed how much he admires Devin Booker’s game, and the two would be a match made in heaven. They would certainly be a top backcourt in the league as well. Lillard would go to a team that takes pride in defense and get an upgrade at shooting guard from CJ McCollum to Booker. For his part, Booker would get an upgrade at point guard, going from Paul, who has shriveled in past playoffs, to an all-time clutch performer who is impossible to shut down defensively in Lillard. I would love to see this duo create havoc for the rest of the league.

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