Damian Lillard clarifies recent tweets that sparked trade rumors
The Blazers may have been swept in the first round and a large part of that is due to the 6-foot-3 guard consistently performing below standards — but let’s get real, the Blazers would not have been here without their clear-cut franchise player dragging the team to a division-clinching third-seed finish in the first place.
On top of that, the former Weber St. Wildcat is still fairly young (only turning 28 years old in a few days) and just came off arguably his second best season as a Blazer with averages of 26.9 points (including 91.6 percent from the line — a career best), 4.5 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game, en route to being selected to his third All-Star team.
For all intents and purposes, that’s not a type of player you trade at all. Unless the player demanded a trade that is, and even then that only works if the player is on the last year of his deal and the team that has him is looking to salvage something in return — but that’s a negative given that Dame is signed on for three more years.
That being said, the rumor mill keeps churning out his name — particularly in connection with the Los Angeles Lakers who still figures to land a second star to pair with LeBron James as the reality of Kawhi Leonard wearing Purple and Gold looks bleaker by the day. Lillard responded to the rumors with a rather intriguing tweet that stirred the pot for a bit before later clarifying what he truly meant.
Damian Lillard downplays his recent tweets, saying he was upset about his close friend Ed Davis not being re-signed but it wasn’t a commentary on his happiness in Portland.
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) July 8, 2018
With Jusuf Nurkic locked up, the Blazers hope to remain in the thick of things of the increasingly competitive Western Conference.