It is no secret that Damian Lillard wants to stay with the Portland Trailblazers. However, his loyalty to the team comes with building around him. General manager Joe Cronin may have just compromised that relationship during the NBA Draft when they acquired G League Ignite's Scoot Henderson.
Damian Lillard was very vocal about trading the pick in order to get him a secondary star. The team was not the same since CJ McCollum left and Dame had to seemingly backpack the team's offensive load a lot. Portland has been heading down a downward trajectory after he lost a backup star. They were a series away from the NBA Finals in 2019. Eventually, the Trailblazers lost in the first round in 2021. Now, they could not get back to postseason contention for two years in a row.
The Trailblazers superstar's future has now been clouded with rumors. A Jimmy Butler team-up with the Miami Heat has been the most prominent rumor. However, Joe Cronin is on his way to mending the team's relationship with Damian Lillard in an upcoming meeting, per Chris Haynes of TNT.
Damian Lillard could still get his wish of a franchise star along with their NBA Draft pickup, Scoot Henderson. Joe Cronin still has a few assets up his sleeve to pull off a big splash during free agency. Notable names on the board are James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers and even Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Joe Cronin's next moves as a general manager are going to determine if Damian Lillard wants to stay. Will he be able to pull it off?