During the NBA Draft and Free Agency period, 2018, the Portland Trail Blazers added four players: Anfernee Simons, Gary Trent Jr, Nik Stauskas and Seth Curry. They also parted ways with Ed Davis, Pat Connaughton, Shabazz Napier and Georgios Papagiannis. Blazers fans and NBA analysts have given Portland mixed reviews, but the audience they need to impress boils down to one. All-Star point guard Damian Lillard is watching his prime years and his current contract with the Blazers slip by. He’s asked for improvements to the roster. This week, Lillard was met by a media scrum asking his thoughts on the off-season so far.
Lillard’s assessment appeared to be guarded. He said he “assumed” that, despite losing experience, the front office had done all it could to improve the roster, chasing veteran players. He then offered this quote:
We tried, I guess. We tried to get guys to come here in free agency. I’m pretty sure we tried everything that we could to try and improve the team. We made the moves that we made.
Lillard finished with, ”There’s really nothing I can do about it. It’s out of my control,” before confirming he would do everything he could to improve his own game before the start of the season.
Orlando Sanchez of KGW TV tweeted the full video.
Damian Lillard on the Blazers current roster "We tried to get guys to come here in free agency. I'm pretty sure we tried to do everything that we could to try and improve the team. We made the moves that we made and for me I have to go out there and do what I do." #RipCity pic.twitter.com/tIWm67FCjZ— Orlando Sanchez (@orlandokgw) July 18, 2018
Previously, Lillard shared his sadness when Davis’ departure was announced in the opening hours of free agency.
“We lost some guys that played great minutes for us...Ed gave us great minutes all season long, a vet, same thing with Pat, same thing with Bazz”
The Blazers have filled all 15 roster spots. Absent further moves, they will enter the season with this roster:
Gary Trent Jr