It’s a shame that Damian Lillard could have played his last game with the Portland Trail Blazers, especially because he has morphed into one of the NBA’s best players.
Bleacher Report agrees with that statement, and placed Lillard at No. 14 in its top 100 player rankings. Here’s what Zach Buckley had to say:
Assuming his wish for an overdue exit out of Portland is granted, Damian Lillard will take his razor-sharp talents away from the only NBA home he’s known. Depending on his destination, he may greatly impact the 2024 championship race.
High-mileage, athletically gifted point guards aren’t supposed to age gracefully, but Dame Time clearly moves at a different speed. His 2022-23 effort was maybe his best to date, as he pumped in a career-high number of points, matched his third-highest assists average and splashed a personal-best 4.2 triples per night (at a 37.1 percent clip, no less).
Ducking the injury bug could prove increasingly difficult as he gets older, but Lillard’s offensive concerns start and stop with that worry. If he’s healthy, he’ll be slaying defensive dragons and steering what should be a high-powered attack, regardless of where he’s suiting up.
The players that ranked ahead of Lillard are Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Devin Booker, Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) and Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets).
Coming off of his best statistical season as a pro, there’s no indication that Lillard’s output would take a hit should he stay in Portland, and a move to Miami would put him next to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo – who combined attempted less shots per night than Simons and Grant last year.
BE community, do you think Dame is at the right spot? Chime off in the comments below.