For nearly the last decade, Damian Lillard has been fiercely loyal to the Portland Trail Blazers. He’s remained committed to winning a championship with the franchise that drafted him, which has become somewhat of a rarity in today’s NBA.
But after a new report from Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Lillard might be questioning that loyalty this offseason. Between the Blazers string of underwhelming playoff performances and the latest backlash over the likely hiring of Chauncey Billups to be the organization’s new head coach, the 30-year-old point guard is reportedly upset, which could lead to him requesting out of Portland.
Lillard has long been rumored to be the next NBA star who will push his way out of his current situation. Although he’d have a plethora of suitors ready to pull him away from the Blazers, it’s unclear exactly where he’d want to go to continue his career.
An old tweet from Lillard might help point in the right direction.
“If Blazers said they didn’t want me… Utah Jazz or Lakers,” Lillard tweeted on June 14, 2017.
If blazers said they didn't want me… Utah Jazz or Lakers https://t.co/jep3V9qRsS
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) June 14, 2017
Before diving into either of those hypotheticals, it’s important to reiterate that this tweet is from 2017. Many other factors would go into a potential trade for one of the league’s top superstars and his mind obviously could’ve changed.
With that out of the way, Lillard being traded to the Jazz or the Lakers are possibilities that have to be explored.
The sharpshooting point guard likely mentioned the Jazz because of his four years spent at Weber State in college. In Ogden, Utah, Lillard first made a name for himself and ingratiated himself to the state’s fans. The Jazz might be willing to shake things up this offseason after falling out of the playoffs to the shorthanded Clippers and would have the pieces to send to Portland to get a deal done. However, acquiring Lillard would be a major shakeup for the organization and one that they would need to be fully committed to before making the move.
As for the Lakers, a potential trade for Lillard seems to be a bit more far-fetched. Los Angeles has committed to LeBron James and Anthony Davis through the 2022-2023 season and wouldn’t have many other pieces to offer the Blazers for their All-NBA point guard. Although the Lakers showed their need for a reliable ballhandler and shooter with this year’s first round exit, acquiring Lillard would be extremely difficult.
Once again, these trades are just hypotheticals. For the time being, Lillard will remain with the Blazers and the organization will do its best to appease their point guard this offseason.
If they fail, it’s only a matter of time until the next NBA star is on the move.