New Damian Lillard trade rumors swirling with Knicks in anxious pursuit

Sports

New York Post 16 July, 2021 - 01:14pm 40 views

What team is Damian Lillard on?

Damian Lillard has spent his entire NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers. Damian Lillard, the high-scoring, All-Star and All-NBA guard, has become synonymous with the Portland Trail Blazers over the past few years. However, playoff disappointments have marked his stint with the team more often than not. NBA.comDamian Lillard: Blazers 'must do better' to win at higher level in playoffs

Did Damian Lillard request a trade?

Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard has no plans to request trade: Source. Damian Lillard is not planning to demand that the Portland Trail Blazers trade him, an NBA source has told The Oregonian/OregonLive. oregonlive.comPortland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard has no plans to request trade: Source

By Marc Berman

July 16, 2021 | 2:14pm | Updated July 16, 2021 | 4:04pm

Star guard Damian Lillard is expected to address a report after Team USA’s practice Friday that stated he’s days away from asking the Blazers for a trade.

Last week, Lillard didn’t put the rampant speculation to rest when The Post asked him if he was mulling a trade. Lillard stated the words haven’t come from his mouth and that Blazers GM Neil Olshey knows exactly how he feels. Lillard also didn’t give a ringing endorsement on the new controversial hiring of Chauncey Billups during that Team USA press conference.

TrueHoop.com reported Friday morning Lillard is days away from asking for a trade. The Post has reported multiple times Lillard will likely be attracted to the Knicks’ situation because their assistant coach Johnnie Bryant is one of his mentors from Oakland.

The Knicks have been monitoring Lillard’s situation for months, interested in putting together a package for the Blazers superstar. The Post has reported the Knicks likely would be amenable to trading three first-round picks. Time is of the essence with the July 29 NBA Draft coming up and the Knicks needing to know whether to continue pursuits of PG Collin Sexton, among others. 

In a Yahoo interview posted Friday morning, Lillard reiterated how deeply upset he was at the first-round ouster by a Nuggets team playing without Jamal Murray and Will Barton. Lillard expressed the sentiment that night after the series loss and again last week with the same pain, saying he joined the Olympic Team to take his mind off it.

“I think that’s the stage we’re at as a team where we all, not just me, not just my teammates, not just our new coaching staff, the front office, everybody in this organization must look in the mirror because we’ve constantly come up short,’’ Lillard said. “We have to look in the mirror and say, ‘I have to be better’ because whatever it is we’re doing is not working and it’s not giving us the shot to compete on the level that we want to compete on.

“We’re not losing a lot, but we were eliminated by a shorthanded Denver team that I felt we should have beat. I just walked away from that really disappointed. I was like, ‘Man, this just isn’t going to work.’ We’re not winning the championship, but we’ve got a successful organization.’’ 

Read full article at New York Post

The Damian Lillard Trade Talk Is Picking Up Steam

bleachernation.com 16 July, 2021 - 11:24am

Pull out your photoshopped jersey swaps and crank up your trade machines, because the flood gates have just opened on Damian Lillard.

Since the Trail Blazers suffered their fourth first-round exit in five seasons, speculation has started to grow that Lillard could look to leave Portland this summer. Now, with the NBA Draft (July 29th) and the beginning of free agency (August 2nd) around the corner, it appears things have quickly moved past the “rumor” phase. Henry Abbott of True Hoop reported Friday morning that Lillard will request a trade in the coming days, per a source close to Lillard.

Shortly following that announcement, ESPN’s Grant Afseth dropped word that Lillard could consider the New York Knicks as a preferred landing spot if a trade was requested.

Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard has his eyes on the New York Knicks among trade destinations in the event he were to be dealt, per a source.

— Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth) July 16, 2021

Y’all really about to believe a guy with a name Henry abboott 🤖. 🤣🤣🤣. 🧢 🧢 https://t.co/Z3VWcA7gTr

— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) July 16, 2021

What a 🤡 bruh…Keep🧢 🤡 https://t.co/kyntbIUr4D

— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) July 16, 2021

With Lillard currently focused on Team USA and the race for a gold medal, it feels like a lot of this hoopla should be put on hold until after the Olympics. However, with key transaction periods coming up so soon, now would be arguably the best time for Lillard’s camp to demand he be moved.

Working to Lillard’s disadvantage is the fact that he is still under contract for four more seasons (where he is owed roughly $176.1 million). While that would bolster its value around the league, it also does not give the Trail Blazers front office a massive sense of urgency. If a team like the 76ers or Warriors is prepared to offer a king’s ransom for Lillard’s services, though, there might be no use in hanging onto a disgruntled superstar. At some point, if Lillard is all the way out, starting a rebuild sooner than later is the way to go.

Like any other fanbase around the league, it is fun to fantasize about the Bulls’ involvement in all of this. After all, Zach LaVine is sharing the court on a daily basis with Lillard in Las Vegas, and he will continue to do so for several more weeks. Who is to say LaVine does not put together a highly detailed PowerPoint presentation for Lillard on an off day? Or begin to rebound extra hard for him in the open gym? Or perhaps make a pledge to exclusively listen to Dame Dolla music for the rest of the year?

While it is fun to imagine LaVine as a master of persuasion, any legitimate pursuit of Lillard would have to come from upstairs. And considering the Bulls recently sent two first-round draft picks to Orlando, it will be difficult to construct the most intriguing package for the superstar. Patrick Williams could be used as a way to get the ball rolling, but there will surely be teams who offer other high-upside talents that could appeal even more to the Portland front office.

Still, a minimal shot at Lillard does not mean Arturas Karnisovas should not have his eyes on the Trail Blazers. I do think the Blazers would look to sell off plenty of other pieces if they were forced to move on from Lillard. I wrote a little bit more about that when the Lillard trade rumors first gained steam, and you can check that out below:

With “Anticipation” of Portland Moving on From Head Coach Terry Stotts, Could Certain Players Become Available?https://t.co/P0ydfmLgDQ

— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 4, 2021

OPE: Right before we were about to press publish, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes published the following Q&A with the man himself!

A @YahooSports conversation with Damian Lillard from Las Vegas on Team USA’s early struggles and where he currently stands with the Portland Trail Blazers. https://t.co/VT9eTHLIvr

— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 16, 2021

Lillard called out the organization for its continued inability to take the next step. He did not directly say what his future holds, but he does not sound like a man who has the most confidence in where the franchise is headed. Haynes said Lillard is expected to comment on a report about his future (perhaps one of the two we have seen above) after the Team USA practice later today.

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago White Sox, or the Chicago Blackhawks. None of MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, the Cubs, the Bears, the Bulls, the White Sox, or the Blackhawks have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago White Sox, and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Damian Lillard

Sports Stories