RUMOR: Blazers’ Damian Lillard willing to use nuclear option to force trade to title team
The situation surrounding Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has been a wild one all offseason long. Reports came that Lillard was getting tired of the franchise, and then the firing of Terry Stotts and hiring of Chauncey Billups brought up questions about Lillard’s Blazers future as well.
Then came the bombshell report from Henry Abbott of TrueHoop claiming Lillard would soon request to demand a trade. Then came Lillard’s press conference where he denied that report but also stated that he was unsure of his future with the Blazers.
Either way, it has been a mess and a whirlwind of the season. And, apparently, now there’s more.
“Sources say Damian Lillard is willing to forgo paychecks to get to a title team, if it comes to that.”
If it comes to that or not, nobody really has the slightest idea. Perhaps Lillard does decide to do that and force the Blazers’ hand to either trade him or trade for a legitimate running mate.
As Abbott states, perhaps this really is the beginning of the end regarding Lillard and the Blazers:
“…he would listen to the team’s plans, and if he didn’t like what he heard, he would demand a trade. He estimated he was 25 percent likely to demand a trade that Friday. Whatever the number, some in the room tell TrueHoop they took it as the beginning of the end for Lillard and the Blazers.”
The 2021 NBA Draft is coming up and so is NBA free agency, so perhaps Lillard does forgo paychecks if Portland doesn’t make moves according to his desire. Truth be told, the situation regarding Lillard is definitely the most interesting of the entire offseason — and for good reason.
If traded, he will command a ton in return, and if he returns to the Blazers, they will need to do whatever it takes to put together a championship-caliber roster.