Damian Lillard‘s future with the Portland Trail Blazers remains a prominent topic heading into the offseason. Meanwhile, Lillard continues to shoot down chatter concerning the notion he will ask for a trade. It’s now led to a rumor he wants to join an Eastern Conference playoff contender.
Damian Lillard addresses his uncertain future with the Blazers
Since the Blazers suffered its fourth first-round playoff exit in the last five years, Lillard‘s remains the prominent topic around the franchise.
It’s lead to chatter on Friday suggesting he will soon request a trade. However, the star guard quickly silenced that notion by stating the reports were not true and that he hadn’t made any decisions regarding his future.
I woke up to those reports, a lot of people reaching out to me,” Lillard said via Blazers.com. It’s not true, I’ll start off the rip and say it’s not true. I said the last time I spoke to you guys that a lot of things are being said and it hasn’t come from me. Number one: it’s not true. And secondly, I’ll also say that I haven’t made any firm decisions on what my future will be. It’s really no need for anybody else to speak for me or report this or report that. If there’s something to be said, as I said the last time, I’ll speak directly with my team and with Neil. That’s that.
It’s a fluid discussion in Portland, but not one that has led to a trade request from Lillard. A recent report now suggests he may have his eyes on one rising Eastern conference team.
Damian Lillard may be eyeing joining an eastern conference playoff contender
Although Lillard has shut down any discussion concerning his NBA future, the rumor mill remains prevalent around him.
It’s seen the conversation shift toward chatter regarding possible landing spots, with a few prominent teams entering the discussion. Grant Asfeth of Sports illustrated recently reported the star point guard may have his eyes on the Knicks as one of his preferred trade destinations.
New York will be a significant player this offseason, fixated on adding a significant splash to add game-changing talent. The franchise will have around $50 million in cap space this summer, which isn’t accounting for the potentially massive contract the team will have to pay star forward Julius Randle.
Nonetheless, the Knicks are eyeing acquiring star talent, and Lillard fits the bill. The organization wants to take a significant leap forward, and the seven-time All-Star can provide that. The question becomes whether he will push for a trade as New York will be one of several teams pursuing him if he goes that route.
Portland wants to roll forward with its star point guard
Although Lillard is under contract for the next few years, he controls his destiny in Portland.
The 30-year-old is the definition of loyal, but another season in his prime wittered away without NBA title contention. Lillard wants to make the most of his best years, and the Blazers haven’t taken the next step forward.
The front office will have challenges ahead this summer, but the team can make some sizable roster moves. Much of which may involve moving star guard CJ McCollum to add a strong wealth of talent around Lillard. The Blazers also don’t want to take him for granted, hoping to build a championship contender with him leading the charge.
The Blazers must go all-in this summer if they hope to prove to Lillard the team is committed to finally breaking through in the playoffs.