The piece placed the Portland Trail Blazers’ star in the Fresh Faces and First Timers category, referring to his renewed emphasis on his focus on winning in the Pacific Northwest.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers: Set the record straight Tuesday regarding a perceived desire to leave Portland, but most importantly, he stated two goals: “I want to be MVP,” Lillard said. “I want to win the championship.”
Lillard was named alongside fellow potential first timers Jaylen Brown, Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, Trae Young, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Zach LaVine, Ja Morant and Chris Paul.
Former winners Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, James Harden, LeBron James and Nikola Jokic were also mentioned.
Lillard has just started his 10th season at age 31, putting up career numbers of 24.6 points on 37 percent three point shooting, 6.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 steals.