Since publicly expressing his desire to see the Portland Trail Blazers make roster upgrades, Damian Lillard’s current standing has been among the most closely-monitored situations across the NBA. Portland’s front office has brought in modest additions to the roster, but those with inside looks at the situation aren’t sure it will be enough to appease the six-time All-Star. On yesterday’s episode of Posted Up with Chris Haynes, Yahoo Sports Insiders Chris Haynes and Vincent Goodwill offered their assessments of Portland’s opening day acquisitions, and what they expect from Lillard going forward.
Goodwill made mention of the New York Knicks’ calculated moves, in how they coallign with a potential Lillard deal, should his relationship with the Blazer go awry. In providing his own outlook on the situation, Haynes had this to say.
“I expect Damian Lillard to go and play for the Portland Trail Blazers. I expect him to try out this roster. I believe he wants to give Chauncey Billups a chance. And I think he’s going to go there, give the roster a shot. And Portland’s probably still not done. You know, I’m hearing Paul Millsap, a guy they’re looking at. I’m hearing Kelly Oubre, who’s still on the market, a guy that they’re looking at, so they’re still not done. But I expect Dame to go out there next season, play, see how things materialize, and go from there.
So far, as of right now, there hasn’t been anything done by the Trail Blazers that so-called ‘moves the needle.’ I mean you look at Zach LaVine. This guy, he didn’t say much other than that he wants his respect and he wants to be paid well. And then what happens? Boom. You got Lonzo Ball. Boom you got DeMar DeRozan. And I know it’s not apples-to-apples, same situation. But these teams are making moves out here.
And then you Damian Lillard, who’s been as public as he’s ever been in stating his dissatisfaction with the way things are going with the team and the roster construction. And then you bring on these players, who I’m not saying, you know, Norman Powell they had to re-sign. Five years, they had to. You couldn’t let him go. But outside of that, there wasn’t much done that I think moves the needle. And you brought up that New York angle, you know, from all accounts of what we’re hearing, definitely, the Knicks have an eye on Damian Lillard, so we’ll see what happens from there.”
According to a report from David Aldridge of The Athletic, the Charlotte Hornets have been in discussions to acquire Oubre, which could pose a threat to the Blazers’ plans, as stated by Haynes. Though, as he notes, there has been no agreement tonight.
Thus far, the Blazers have re-signed Norman Powell, acquired Cody Zeller, Tony Snell, and Ben McLemore, whilst allowing key fixtures from last season’s roster, such as Enes Kanter and Carmelo Anthony to move on. Over the rest of the podcast, the two hit on high-profile signings across the league. The link to that can be found above.