It may be difficult to believe, but Damian Lillard has been a member of the Portland Trail Blazers organization for 11 years now. Time sure does fly; since drafting Lillard sixth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Blazers have had various levels of success, even making it to the Western Conference Finals in 2019. Given how quickly the small hand of the clock moves, however, it won't be long until the sun sets on the 32-year old floor general's illustrious career in Portland.
The fact of the matter is that Lillard is closer to retirement than he is to the beginning of his professional career. And Lillard, at the very least, is acknowledging that fact. Nevertheless, the Blazers star, in an interview with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype believes that he still has six to seven years of solid to elite play left in him.
“I’m under contract for four more years, and I’ll be going on 36 at the end of that, so I’m at least playing that long. I’ll probably say until I’m about 38 or 39,” Lillard said.
Of course, there are plenty of factor in play that would dictate just until when Damian Lillard terrorizes the NBA with his unlimited range. His health, in particular, will be of utmost importance. After all, the track record of small guards when it comes to aging isn't the best. There are few exceptions, with Chris Paul and John Stockton playing at a high level late into their 30s, so at least there's a precedent for what the Blazers star is trying to do.
At the end of the day, Lillard also stated that his contending situation will play a part in his desire to soldier on as he approaches his 40s.
“It’s hard to say now. When the time comes, it’s hard to let go of what you’ve been doing your whole life. I’m not going to play myself into the ground. As long as I play, I’m going to be a good player. I think it also depends on when and if I win the championship.” Lillard added.
With the Blazers' reported trade interest in stars such as Bam Adebayo, Paul George, and Jaylen Brown, it'll be interesting to see if they can give Damian Lillard the supporting cast he needs so he could, perhaps, retire early as an NBA champion.