Has Damian Lillard requested a trade?
Damian Lillard said Friday he has not requested a trade but wants the Portland Trail Blazers to be more urgent in their pursuit of a championship. The All-Star guard added that he expects to be with the Blazers next season, but made clear that he feels it needs to be with more talent around him. Sportsnet.caTrail Blazers’ Damian Lillard says trade request rumours are ‘not true’
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17 July, 2021 - 03:01am
Damian Lillard denied a report that he plans to request the Blazers trade him, but he also hasn't made "any firm decision on what my future will be."
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The answers appeared direct and concise as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard spoke about the state of the franchise and whether he wants to remain with an organization that he has played with for his entire nine-year NBA career.
Does Lillard plan to request the Trail Blazers trade him, as a report published on Friday morning suggested he would?
"It’s not true," Lillard said following Team USA’s practice on Friday afternoon. "I haven’t made any firm decision on what my future will be."
Does Lillard expect to play for the Blazers next season?
"Yeah," Lillard said. "I expect it."
But will Lillard play for the Blazers?
He stressed "we’re not at that point" about considering other teams. After all, Lillard highlighted "a lot of positives" that have included eight consecutive playoff appearances, two Pacific Division titles and a Western Conference finals appearance. He also expressed affection for the city of Portland and its fanbase. But the fact that Lillard has even expressed the need for more urgency marks a significant pivot point.
During the 2019-20 season, Lillard spoke to USA TODAY Sports and other outlets on why he had no desire to form a super team elsewhere. But after losing to the Denver Nuggets in the first round despite Jamal Murray nursing an ACL injury, Lillard expects the franchise "just to be more urgent about what our next step is and how we move forward."
"We reached that point where it’s not enough," Lillard said. "Do we actually want to win it all? Is that what we’re shooting for, and we got to do things to show that. We have to put action behind that desire to win at that level."
Lillard confirmed that he plans to meet with general manager Neil Olshey and owner Jody Allen in Las Vegas. Though Lillard stressed they came to town to support his participation with Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics, he will have plenty to discuss with Olshey and Allen about the franchise’s direction after already having offseason talks with them.
Lillard made one clear point that he presumably will reiterate to Olshey and Allen. Olshey contended this offseason that the Blazers’ first-round playoff exit and poor defensive ranking (29th out of 30 NBA teams) had less to do with roster construction and more to do with coaching. So Olshey and Terry Stotts parted ways before eventually hiring Chauncey Billups, a Los Angeles Clippers coach and former NBA player.
"We’ve had so many teams in the league that don’t make dramatic changes to their roster. But they change coaches and the team improves maybe because you just needed a fresh voice and somebody new to follow," Lillard said. "Sometimes a coach is that great."
Damian Lillard on if the Portland Trail Blazers roster today are championship contenders: pic.twitter.com/suGx128hD6
Yet, expect Lillard to tell Olshey that his analysis is wrong.
"I don’t disagree that Chauncey can really change our team and make us a better team and get us going in that direction. But I think if you look at our team as it is going into next season, I don’t see how you can say, 'This is a championship team, we just need a new coach,' " Lillard sad. "We lost in the first round to a team that was hurt."
So where does this leave Lillard and Portland? Though the Blazers might feel the urgency to appease Lillard and rectify their two consecutive first-round exits, they technically have some time. Lillard remains under contract through the 2024-25 season, meaning the Blazers do not have to operate in fear that Lillard could leave as a free agent next offseason without anything in return.
But the Blazers might have to become creative. Though they will have to decide what to do with Carmelo Anthony, Enes Kanter and Zach Collins when they enter the free agent market, the Blazers have about a $120 million payroll. So any significant move might require them to deal All-Star guard C.J. McCollum.
"I’m not sure what I’m going to do," Lillard said. "What I can say is my intentions and my heart has always been set on being in a Portland Trail Blazers uniform for my entire career. But over time, you want to win it all. I want to win it all in a Trail Blazers uniform. But we all have to be making strides toward that."
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Lillard wants the blazer to step up the pursuit of the championship | WGN Radio 720 - Illinois News Today
16 July, 2021 - 06:36pm
Damian Lillard (6) of the United States brought the ball to Argentina in the first half of the basketball exhibition in Las Vegas on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
Damian Lillard said Friday he didn’t demand a trade, but hoped the Portland Trail Blazers would be more urgent in pursuing the championship.
All-star guards added that they expected to be with the Trail Blazers next season, but revealed that they felt they needed more talent around him.
Lillard praised Portland as a great city with great fans and said he was proud of the organization as a longtime playoff team.
“That’s a lot of positive things,” Lillard said. “But I think we’ve reached that point, but that’s not enough. Do we really want to win it all? That’s what we’re aiming for and what to show it. You have to do something. You have to take action behind the desire to win at that level. “
Lillard is in Las Vegas with the US Olympic team. He woke up to a report from Truehoop.com on Friday, citing someone near him, and he planned to request a deal within a few days.
“Number. 1, that’s not true,” Billups said.
Lillard insisted on winning the championship in Portland, where he spent his entire career, but his belief in that possibility seems to have diminished.
“I want to win everything in the Trail Blazers uniform, but we all have to move towards it,” Lillard said.
They were far away from it this season and fell 4-2 to Denver’s team, who was playing without the injured guard Jamal Murray in the first round. The Blazers then replaced Terry Stotts with his first head coach, Chauncey Billups.
Lillard said he was aware that there were teams that changed coaches without changing a lot of staff and decided that was enough.
“So I don’t agree that maybe Seansey could really change our team, make us a better team and point us in that direction,” Lillard said. .. “But when we look at our team for next season, we don’t see them saying,” Okay, this is a championship team. I need a new coach. ” Round to the injured team when they first lose. That is my idea. “
Lillard had planned to meet Billups and general manager Neil Orcy in Las Vegas, but nothing had changed as the Blazers staff planned to visit him during the training camp anyway.
But the change is what he wants to see when he returns in the fall.
“I think the best way to put it is just more urgent,” Lillard said. “Be more urgent about what our next step is and how we move forward.”
Lillard wants the blazer to step up the pursuit of the championship | WGN Radio 720
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16 July, 2021 - 03:51pm
Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel
If Damian Lillard indeed ends up demanding a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, the Warriors would be among the most likely teams to land the superstar point guard, per odds provided by our partner, PointsBet.
Check out the top five potential destinations below.
New York Knicks (+200)
Philadelphia 76ers (+250)
Miami Heat (+300)
Golden State Warriors (+400)
Los Angeles Lakers (+500)
After True Hoop's Henry Abbott reported early Friday morning that Lillard would be requesting a trade in the "days to come," the 31-year-old went on the record with Yahoo's Chris Haynes and explained his frustrations with the current situation in Portland.
Lillard also spoke to the media after Team USA practice on Friday and denied that he has decided to demand a trade, adding that he hasn't made a "firm" decision on his future.
No NBA team in their right mind wouldn't at least check in on the potential of acquiring Lillard via trade. The six-time All-NBA and six-time All-Star guard is one of the league's most dynamic players and potent scorers.
The Warriors certainly will reach out, as executive vice president of basketball operations Kirk Lacob confirmed on "Dubs Talk" this week that the front office checks in on any and all potential trades for a superstar.
It would take an unprecedented haul of assets to land Lillard in a trade, as a player of his caliber doesn't come available often.
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16 July, 2021 - 02:40pm
Zach Collins has likely played his final game for the Portland Trail Blazers.
A report from Jason Quick of The Athletic says that the Blazers will not tender a qualifying offer at $7 million to Collins, making the former 10th overall pick an unrestricted free agent this summer.
By not extending an offer to Collins, the Blazers will pass on having the restricted rights for him. If another team signs Collins, they will not have the chance to match.
Portland still has Collins’ bird rights, however, since he was on the Trail Blazers the past four seasons.
Collins, who turns 24 in November, could still sign with the Blazers, but the team does not view him as worth $7 million a year and the two sides would have to come to terms on a deal lower than that figure.
Collins’ tenure with the Blazers has been riddled with injuries. After missing the entire 2020-21 season, Collins underwent a second revision surgery in June to repair a left medial malleolus stress fracture.
The Blazers selected Collins with that No. 10 pick in the 2017 NBA draft in front of stars Donovan Mitchell and Bam Adebayo. He has only played 154 games since being the drafted that high four seasons ago.
In the three seasons Collins played, he averaged just 5.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in Portland. He has appeared in just 11 games the past two seasons.
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