Trail Blazers frontman Damian Lillard claimed a spot in the top ten of ESPN’s player rankings for the upcoming 2019-20 NBA season. Alongside CJ McCollum, coach Terry Stotts’ squad boasts two players inside the top 15 of the updated rankings.
Lillard, who earned a spot on the All-NBA Second Team for his work last season, finished just in front of Paul George (a routine occurrence for the new Clippers wing) to climb up to No. 9 on the list.
ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz focused on Lillard’s commitment to in Portland inside the final rankings.
From the moment he entered the league as a mystery guest from Weber State, Lillard established himself as a fearless, durable floor general with an uncommon stage presence. His big-game shot-making rivals any of his contemporaries, and he’s a first-rate culture-setter who quietly agreed to a supermax extension over the summer that will keep him in Portland well into his 30s. Lillard has publicly stated that he’s uninterested in building a superteam or serving as a recruiter in a league where such machinations are bigger than the game itself. Yet Lillard’s independence poses a challenge: Without the concentration of star power present on the rosters of most NBA contenders, how far can Lillard lift the Trail Blazers in an unforgiving Western Conference?
You can find the complete rankings at ESPN.