By DWIGHT JAYNES (@dwightjaynes)
Two separate sources have confirmed that point guard Damian Lillard won the hearts of Trail Blazer officials with a solo workout for the team earlier this month that was sensational.
Lillard was said to be near flawless in the session, during which he was put through shooting drills and drills that tested his skills as a pick-and-roll point guard.
One person at the workout said, "I swear, he missed two shots the whole time -- that's all. He was amazing."
Another source was even stronger.
"It's the best workout we've had here since Kevin Durant," he said, echoing what others have said about that workout.
Of course, the Trail Blazers didn't take Durant in the draft -- which adds a touch of irony to the situation. Portland, this time, appears to want Lillard, though.
But there are reports today that Sacramento, sitting at No. 5, is considering picking Lillard. I would doubt the Kings are interested in a point guard that early but it would make some sense for them to frighten Portland with the possibility of doing so.
It could force the Trail Blazers to forge a deal with the Kings to switch picks, delivering the Kings a future pick or a spare second-round pick or even a player in exchange for NOT picking Lillard.
Yes, the Blazers like Lillard. But how much do they like him? Enough to pay a price to move up in the draft? Or would they take their chances, dare the Kings to take him and settle for whatever player (Harrison Barnes, for example) Sacramento passes up in order to take Lillard.
As of now, if Lillard is chosen, I would expect Portland to pick the best available big man at No. 11.