Now that the All-Star break is here and the Portland Trail Blazers are getting some rest, the attention now turns to what could possibly happen during the upcoming offseason. Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report argues that Damian Lillard could be a possible trade target this summer. According to Hughes, the Blazers may not have done enough to satisfy their star with their moves this winter.
Lillard, though, might view Portland’s moves with skepticism. Next year will be his age-32 season, and he has yet to win a game in the Conference Finals. The clock is ticking. Youth takes time to develop, and cap flexibility comes with no guarantees.
The instability brought about by increasing calls for trustee Jody Allen to sell the team could also contribute to Lillard finally making the trade request he’s held back for so long. Even if he doesn’t ask out, the Blazers might signal their own feelings on continuing the relationship when they decide whether to offer Lillard the two-year, $107 million extension for which he’s eligible ahead of 2022-23.
Given that Anfernee Simons is a rising star and Jusuf Nurkic is on a tear, one must take Hughes’ assertions with a certain grain of salt — Blazer basketball is fun again, and Lillard likely wants to get in on that action.
You can read about the other possible targets to watch here.