Despite missing the NBA playoffs last season, the Portland Trail Blazers have been the talk of the NBA for two reasons in particular: Scooter Henderson and Damian Lillard.
The Blazers decided to go with the youth movement, as Henderson would now be the face of the franchise going forward, which did not sit well with Lillard, who now wanted to compete for championships as he reached his mid-30s. have been
As if that was bad enough, Portland signed Jeremy Grant to a massive contract in NBA free agency that locked him down for the next five seasons.
The team is going in another direction, and now Lillard wants to move out, his two favorite places are the Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat.
Although Lillard wants to move to the East Coast, the Blazers have made it known that the team is committed to winning and will seek the best deal for the roster with the team’s general manager, not their soon-to-be former superstar. Saying the following via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Joe Cronin of the Blazers: “We’ve made it clear that we want Demme here but he informed us today that he wants to move out and would prefer to play elsewhere. What hasn’t changed for us is that we are determined to win, and we will do our best for the team to achieve that goal.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) 1 July 2023
After the team comes out and makes this statement, Lillard probably won’t get to where he wants to be, even though he has been an outstanding professional in Portland and made sacrifices for the franchise.
It’s a pretty brutal way for the Blazers, but it’s a business, and the team can’t be entirely blamed for wanting to get the same price for one of the league’s best guards.
It will be interesting to see where Lillard ends up and what impact it will have on the league.
Stephen A. Smith responds to Damian Lillard’s trade request