Per the latest NBA rumors, the Portland Trail Blazers are reportedly not up to trading Damian Lillard. It’s not exactly a breaking news story, but the seven-time All-Star has been mentioned in a number of trade scenarios this offseason. Lillard has also expressed interest in playing for the Miami Heat.
“Someone even told me — and I thought this was interesting, but I don’t even know if I buy it 100% — but someone that has knowledge of what’s going on is convinced that Portland doesn’t even want to trade Damian Lillard at this point,” said Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald on Spotify.
According to multiple NBA betting sites, the Portland Trail Blazers hold 27th-ranked odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Sportsbooks are expecting Blazers general manager Joe Cronin to trade Lillard this offseason. The San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets have better odds to win next year’s title.
Damian Lillard wants to remain in Portland, per @ShamsCharania
“He wants to be there and he wants that team to get better”
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) June 19, 2023
“It almost feels like they’re trying to find a way to change his mind or delay this where Damian will say ‘Well, I’ll just be part of this.’” Last Thursday, Lillard liked a tweet from a Twitter user asking Trail Blazers owner Jody Allen to sell the team to Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike.
The seven-time All-NBA member was among the accounts to like Daniel Redelk’s following tweet: “@trailblazers please sell to Phil Knight he’ll talk @Dame_Lillard into staying and doesn’t care about goin in the luxury tax. Please sell to him. @Seahawks are already there please don’t let #Portland suffer we’d like to see @Dame_Lillard win a title here in #PDX.”
NBA Rumors: Portland Trail Blazers might not want to trade Damian Lillard at this point, could retain the 11-year veteran for a mid-season trade next season
Lillard asked the Trail Blazers for a trade out of Portland on Jul. 1. However, the Western Conference team is still seeking four first-round draft picks and two quality players for the 11-year veteran in return. Miami offered Tyler Herro and multiple draft picks for Lillard a few weeks ago, but Portland declined this package.
The Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New Orleans Pelicans are among the teams interested in trading for Lillard. Nevertheless, sportsbooks are showing the best odds for the Heat, Brooklyn Nets, and Boston Celtics. Of all teams, Boston is least likely to trade for Dame.
“I very much think that we could see the start of the season with Damian Lillard as a Trail Blazer… if I were betting right now, I would bet on that over the other outcome cause, yes… I mean it’s pretty obvious that Joe (Cronin) is not into that Miami deal.” – @BrennaGreene_… pic.twitter.com/2KhNao2O39
— Naveen Ganglani (@naveenganglani) July 20, 2023
Lillard is expected to be traded ahead of training camp. Though, a mid-season trade is still possible. In July 2019, the guard signed a four-year, $176 million Designated Veteran Player extension with Portland.
Last offseason, Lillard inked a two-year, $121.77 million extension with the club. His 2024-25 player option worth $48.79 million was exercised as part of his new contract.
In 58 starts with the Trail Blazers in the 2022-23 season, Lillard averaged a career-high 32.2 points per game, along with 4.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 36.3 minutes per game. The California native shot a career-high-tying 46.3% from the field and 37.1% from 3-point range.
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Source: Basketball Insider