Over the weekend, Yahoo Sports’ NBA insider Chris Haynes dropped a bombshell, implying that Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard might request a trade. Between the team’s recent lackluster showing in the postseason and the backlash from the organization’s recent coaching search, the six-time All-NBA sharpshooter might’ve seen enough to ask out this summer.
However, another media member has added his own view on the situation, suggesting that Lillard’s frustration in Portland hasn’t reached a tipping point just yet.
On a recent episode of “The Hoop Collective” podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst confirmed that he’d hear similar whispers about the star point guard’s dismay with the Blazers moves over the past few weeks. That being said, the NBA insider doesn’t think that Lillard is fully serious about wanting out at this point.
“From conversations that I have had in Dame’s orbit, I have heard the same things,” Windhorst said of Haynes’ recent report about the Blazers star. “I don’t believe based on my conversations that Dame is serious, at this point, about saying he wants out. But I do think that he was put in a very uncomfortable position, partially because of his own making.”
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 29, 2021
With the end of his comments, Windhorst is referencing the Blazers’ recent hiring of Chauncey Billups to be the franchise’s new head coach. Lillard endorsed the current Clippers assistant during the search process, but received push back from fans after a troubling 1997 allegation of sexual assault committed by Billups resurfaced.
After reportedly re-vetting the first-year assistant and longtime NBA player, the Blazers decided to stick by their head coaching hire. However, Lillard wasn’t pleased that he was on the receiving end of criticism for endorsing Billups before becoming aware of the allegation.
“Really? I was asked what coaches I like of the names I “heard” and I named them. Sorry I wasn’t aware of their history I didn’t read the news when I was 7/8yrs old. I don’t support Those things … but if this the route y’all wana come at me… say less,” Lillard wrote in response to a Twitter user that suggested that he was responsible for endorsing Billups.
Haynes suggested that the 30-year-old point guard has been loyal to Portland because of the team’s passionate fanbase. However, after being the target of criticism by those same fans, Lillard wasn’t too pleased.
Windhorst’s report suggests that things in Portland might not be as dire as they seem, but the Blazers would be wise to appease their star this offseason or risk him requesting a trade in the near future.