Is Damian Lillard on the way out in Portland? That appears to be the growing consensus. The team is stuck in a rebuilding phase and Lillard is not getting any younger. As a result, Lillard’s patience with the team that drafted him might be wearing out. In fact, he’s been bold enough to openly discuss trade destinations in recent days.
When asked which of the many teams he would rather be traded to, Lillard’s answer was very clear. “Miami, obviously,” came his candid answer while appearing on The Last Stand. Furthermore, Lillard alluded to his close friendship with current Heat star Bam Adebayo in the same interview. Now it appears that Lillard is taking the rumors to the next level.
Lillard Appears To Allude To A Move
On June 8, Lillard took to his Instagram page and posted an image of himself tapping his wrist in the universally recognized “time’s up” symbol. Many have taken this to me that Lillard wants out of Portland sooner rather than later. The question is whether the Blazers will let him walk. Despite being 32, Lillard is still a highly productive player and will demand a high compensation package. This is exacerbated by the fact that Lillard has already exercised the player option year for the 2024/25 season. This means a trade will guarantee two years of Lillard for the receiving team. However, Lillard is under trade restriction until July 9.
As previously mentioned, it’s unclear if the Blazers will be willing to trade Lillard. Previous rumors have suggested that the Blazers want to go all in. There is apparently a strong desire to win a championship with Lillard while he is still in Portland. Reports indicate that the Blazers were willing to trade the third-overall pick in the upcoming draft for an elite small forward. “The Trail Blazers, who currently own the pick, will seek to trade out of the third position rather than select another young player. With Portland in “win it for Dame” mode and the Blazers desperate for playable wings (even presuming they re-sign Jerami Grant), speculation is already widespread that a package of the third pick and Anfernee Simons might be used to snag an elite small forward,” wrote John Hollinger of The Athletic.