Shams Charania of RealGM quotes unnamed sources claiming that Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard will not extend his contract this summer for anything less than a 5-year maximum extension.
Lillard, sources said, has no plans to consider signing an extension less than the designated max - nor would the two-time NBA All-Star and 2013 Rookie of the Year be financially inclined to do so given 2016's rising free agency market, when upward of 20 teams could extend $20 million-plus offer sheets to Lillard.
In his exit interview Thursday, Lillard told reporters he's confident in extension talks with the Blazers, which could reach a possible $90 million-plus.
As explained in this article from last year, Lillard is looking at 25% (or 30%, depending on his performance next season) of the team's 2016-17 salary cap as the base of his 5-year deal. Subsequent raises would take him above the $90 million mark over the length of the contract, as mentioned in the RealGM piece.
The deal could make sense for the Blazers. When the cap threshold exceeds $100 million, having Lillard already paid and happy will be a relief.
This is another example of the economic change that's about to sweep the NBA. Under the old TV contract signing Lillard to a max extension while keeping free agent LaMarcus Aldridge happy would bottleneck the salary cap, forcing the Blazers to divest their remaining starters or risk paying luxury tax in perpetuity. With the new deal in place, this will probably turn out to be a bargain, not a show-stopper.
Lillard averaged 21 points and 6 assists per game for the Blazers this year.