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Damian Lillard’s ‘Angst’ Hurting Blazers in Long Run

The Portland Trail Blazers could be hurting their future by trying too hard to appease Damian Lillard now.

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NBA: Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard has made it clear. If he is to stay with the Portland Trail Blazers, some changes will have to be made.

After two straight seasons of missing the playoffs, Lillard is hoping that the Blazers will add veterans to the roster in order to give him a shot at leading the team to a championship next season. However, that may not be in the best interest of the Blazers, who last week drafted Scoot Henderson, a potential future franchise cornerstone.

The Athletic’s Jason Quick challenged Lillard to be patient and allow the team to run its course.

He is adored here — for good reason. He’s been involved in the community more than any player I can remember. His teammates love him. He works hard. He’s been amazing, special, both on and off the court. His number will be retired and there will be a statue.

But this continued angst about whether the organization is doing enough for him … are they surrounding him with good enough players … is he happy? It’s become exhausting. On the fanbase. The organization. Nobody forced Lillard to sign his extension to stay here. And if we expect Cronin to back his word about building the best roster, then shouldn’t we expect Lillard to back his word about loyalty?

Quick states that the Blazers’ best path may be to invest in the future alongside Dame and allow him to develop the likes of Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe into similar versions of who he was in the early part of his career. By trading legitimate assets now for short-term solutions, the Blazers may be compromising their overall health as a franchise for a shot at winning now.

You can read Quick’s full story here, with subscription.