Damian Lillard has said several times he wants to retire with the Portland Trail Blazers. The All-Star point guard has enjoyed living in Portland, Oregon, and playing for the Blazers franchise since 2012.
However, after losing to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2021 playoffs and watching fans bash him for his role in the Blazers’ hire of Chauncey Billups, Lillard is reportedly ready to embark on the next chapter of his career.
Damian Lillard reportedly plans to request trade from Blazers
According to Henry Abbott of TrueHoop, Lillard plans to request a trade from the Blazers. The six-time All-Star has never made it to the NBA Finals or won a game in the Western Conference Finals, for that matter.
At 31 years old, it sounds like Lillard senses that his time to compete for a championship is now, and he can’t remain loyal to an organization that has failed to build a title-contending roster around him.
After the Blazers hired Billups as their new head coach, several fans bashed Lillard on social media. The superstar said he wanted Jason Kidd or Billups — two men who were previously accused of domestic violence and rape — to replace Terry Stotts, who parted ways with the franchise. Although he said he preferred Kidd or Billups to be the new coach, Lillard was displeased that some Blazers fans attacked him on Twitter for a coaching hire he played no part in consummating.
In July 2019, Lillard signed a four-year, $176 million extension with the Blazers. He won’t be a free agent until 2024, so several pundits believe he has little leverage should he request a trade. However, Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis, and James Harden are three stars who recently requested trades and got their wish after initially not being traded. After all, no team wants a disgruntled star who doesn’t want to be there.
Lillard’s value has to be sky-high around the NBA since he’s one of the top players in the league. With that said, don’t be surprised if teams offer robust packages to the Blazers if Dame requests a trade.
Knicks and Sixers have the type of packages it would take to get Damian Lillard
The Knicks could potentially offer RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, and future draft picks for Lillard. Meanwhile, the Sixers could offer Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, and future draft picks for the 2012-13 Rookie of the Year.
Since this is just a rumor, we don’t know for sure if Lillard will request a trade. However, if he does, the Blazers must remain patient and get the best possible return for their All-NBA guard, who has career averages of 24.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.6 assists and is undoubtedly one of the best players in Portland history.
Dame is second in Blazers history in several categories
Lillard is second in Blazers history in minutes, field goals, free throws, points, and win shares. Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler is first.
Dame Dolla does hold six Portland records. He’s first in 3-pointers, free-throw percentage, points per game, player efficiency rating, offensive win shares, and offensive box plus/minus.
Blazers fans are certainly hoping that Abbott’s report isn’t accurate. However, they should brace for the possibility that Lillard does request a trade since he likely can’t compete for a title in Portland and is getting older. It will be fascinating to see how this situation plays out and if Lillard addresses the rumors when he speaks to reporters during the Olympics.