RUMOR: The reasons Blazers star Damian Lillard didn’t ask for trade this offseason
Despite a summer full of speculation that he could be traded, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard ultimately stuck to his word and stayed with the team. Of course, there was no shortage of organizations who showed interest in making a move for the guard, but he remained loyal to the Blazers.
The Sixers, in particular, were very interested in trading for Lillard and were hoping they could include Ben Simmons in a package. However, according to Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice, there was a couple of specific reasons Dame didn’t leave:
There are many who believed then and continue to insist now that Damian Lillard was about ready to ask out; a source with knowledge of the situation believes Lillard is held back by both his loyalty to Portland and an unwillingness to go back on things he’s already said about sticking things out. He ultimately decided to give this another go, and Lillard has been provided roster upgrades and had a big voice in the coaching search. He may still ask out down the road, but only time will tell how long this honeymoon lasts.
Lillard has time and time again voiced his desire to win a championship with the Blazers, but even now, they don’t exactly have a roster capable of competing for a Larry O’Brien Trophy. Portland locked up Norman Powell this summer while bringing in the likes of Larry Nance Jr, Ben McLemore, and Cody Zeller. Hopefully, the hiring of Chauncey Billups can make a difference.
As Neubeck noted, the writing is basically on the wall if the Blazers can’t make a title run this season. Dame isn’t getting any younger and he’s certainly in his prime right now. You have to respect his loyalty to Portland, though.