The Portland Trail Blazers finished 33-49 last season and missed out on the playoffs for the second straight postseason. Superstar PG Damian Lillard is entering his 12th season with the franchise. He’s made it very clear that he wants to stay with the Blazers and compete for a championship. However, if the team cannot put the right pieces around him to be a contender, Lillard could change his mind.
Only a veteran like Lillard could have this kind of leverage in this certain situation. While a number of players around the league have demanded trades, Lillard has been with one franchise his entire career. There’s no secret around the league that Portland wants to trade back from the #3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
They were extremely lucky to get that pick, but they might be able to get some win-now assets for it. Those assets are the pieces that Lillard wants to see the Blazers acquire this offseason.
“I want to have an opportunity to win in Portland… We got an opportunity, asset-wise, to build a team that can compete. If we can’t do that… then it’s a separate conversation we would have to have”👀
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) June 7, 2023
Damian Lillard wants to see the Blazers add some win-now pieces to help the team compete in the postseason
In a recent appearance on a SHOWTIME Sports podcast, Lillard opened up about what he wants to see the Blazers do this offseason. He knows the team has the assets to be able to help build a contender around him. However, he said if the team can’t make that happen, “then it’s a separate conversation we would have to have”.
That certainly doesn’t sit well with Blazers fans, but this is the situation the team is in. Damian Lillard has remained extremely loyal to this franchise. There’s only so much he can take and Lillard know his career will not last forever. He will be 33 next month and the seven-time all-star is still looking to win the elusive NBA championship.
Lillard noted that he does not want to be in a situation like Russell Westbrook was with the Lakers. He called Westbrook a Hall of Famer and said the Lakers were holding him back by playing him off the bench. If he were to get traded, Lillard wants to end up on a team that is going to let him play his brand of basketball.
Source: Basketball Insider