The NBA Draft has long been a hotbed for trade rumors and blockbuster deals, but don't count on All-Star guards Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal saying goodbye to their current teams during Thursday night's event, according to Audacy NBA insider Ryan McDonough.
"I think those top guys, especially Lillard in Portland and Beal in DC, are going to remain with their teams," McDonough told the Tiki and Tierney show on Thursday. "The only way those guys get traded is if they stand on the table, demand a trade. Teams don't want to trade franchise players in their primes. Those guys haven't done yet that, so I don't see the Blazers or Wizards proactively trading Lillard or Beal. I don't think they're at that point yet."
"In fact, I think they're going to go the other way -- especially in Portland -- and try to do everything they can to build around Damian Lillard. I do think [Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben] Simmons is the most likely guy to get traded. But if I were to guess, that's going to happen later on this offseason if it happens before training camp starts, because it seems like their asking price is astronomical at this point..."
Lillard, who's a six-time All-NBA selection, averaged a team-high 28.8 points and 7.5 assists for the Blazers during the truncated regular season. The 30-year-old also averaged 34.3 points and 10.2 assists in Portland's first-round playoff loss to the Denver Nuggets.
As for Beal, who's spent the last nine seasons with Washington, he averaged a career-high 31.3 points with 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists. The 28-year-old was set to become the first active Wizards player to represent Team USA in the Olympics, but he unfortunately entered healthy and safety protocols right before the trip to Tokyo.
The 2021 NBA Draft will take place at 8 p.m. ET in Brooklyn, with nearly two dozen prospects expected to be in attendance. Oklahoma State freshman guard Cade Cunningham is the consensus first overall pick.
The entire NBA conversation between McDonough and Tiki and Tierney can be accessed in the audio player above.