As the first move of their post-free-agent-moratorium publicity, the Portland Trail Blazers have officially announce Damian Lillard's contract extension. The deal is rumored to be at the maximum 5-year, $120 million level.
The official press release:
Two-time All-Star commits to Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (July 8, 2015) - The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Damian Lillard to a contract extension, bringing the two-time NBA All-Star under contract through the 2020-21 season, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.
Lillard, 24, has career averages of 20.2 points (42.9% FG, 36.8% 3-PT, 86.1% FT), 3.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 0.95 steals and 36.7 minutes in three seasons with the Trail Blazers.
"I'm grateful to the Trail Blazers organization for believing in me with this contract extension," said Lillard. "The city of Portland has made me feel welcome since the day I arrived. My family and I have made Portland our home.
"I feel fortunate to be a part of a great organization and community. I'm proud of what we've created together as a team and I'm excited to keep building."
Selected by Portland with the sixth overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft out of Weber State, Lillard holds the NBA record for most 3-pointers in a player's first three seasons (599), while becoming the first NBA player since 2003-04 to record 4,000 points and 1,200 assists in his first 200 games.
"From the day he arrived in Portland, Damian has embodied all of the characteristics we value and expect as a player and a person," said Olshey. "The level of commitment we are making to one another provides the foundation our organization will be built on. We could not find a finer example of the organizational culture we are working to create than Damian."
Lillard set new career highs in points (21.0 ppg), rebounds (3.8 rpg), assists (6.1 apg), steals (1.18 spg) and field goal percentage (43.4%) during the 2014-15 season.
The first NBA player in 14 years to start in all 82 games for the same team in each of his first three seasons, Lillard represented Portland as an NBA All-Star in 2014 and 2015, earning All-NBA Third Team honors in 2013-14.
Lillard is one of four players in league history to be the unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year after winning the award in 2013.
They even held a signing photo-op:
yo dame is SHININ https://t.co/LVp8pr3bJp— Dane Carbaugh (@danecarbaugh) July 9, 2015
And Paul Allen tweeted his pleasure:
@trailblazers Great to have to All Star @Dame_Lillard sign his long term contract with the team this morning!— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) July 9, 2015
While Lillard confirmed his commitment to Portland and detailed the deal:
No early opt-outs, no trade kickers in Dame's deal. He didn't want them. "I know in my heart, this is where I want to be."— Mike Barrett (@blazermb) July 9, 2015
The Blazers also announced the formal signing of draft pick Pat Connaughton.
Notre Dame standout acquired in draft day trade
PORTLAND, Ore. (July 8, 2015) - The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Pat Connaughton, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Pat's character, competitive nature and ability to make shots will be a welcomed addition to our team," said Olshey. "He is an excellent fit for our basketball system and our culture."
Acquired in a draft day trade with Brooklyn, Connaughton (6-5, 215) was selected with the 41st overall pick in the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft.
Connaughton, 22, averaged 10.5 points (45.0% FG, 38.6% 3-PT, 77.7% FT), 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in four seasons at Notre Dame.
An All-ACC Third Team selection in 2015, Connaughton posted averages of 12.5 points (42.3% 3-PT) and 7.4 rebounds his senior year for the Irish, who made an NCAA Tournament run to the Elite Eight.
Connaughton will make his Trail Blazers debut at the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Portland tips off its schedule on Saturday, July 11 vs. Boston at 5 p.m. (Pacific).
He will wear No. 5 for the Trail Blazers.