Damian Lillard was one of many NBA players rumored to be on the trade market before the trade deadline next week.
Rumors were swirling about a possible move to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons in a certain capacity, but reports suggest Lillard may want to stay closer to home.
According to Chad Ford on his Locked on Podcast programLillard is interested in staying on the west coast even as he leaves the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I do not really think that Damian Lillard, at least nothing I have heard of, insists that it should be Philadelphia (76ers) where he is going,” said Ford. “In fact, all I have heard is that he prefers to move to the west coast or stay on the west coast.”
That bodes well for teams like the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, who are both trying to make a push for an NBA championship with the stars currently on their roster. Both teams may have a hard time trading for him this season due to concerns about salary cap, but could potentially get involved this off-season.
The Blazers are probably not in a hurry to move Lillard before this season’s trading deadline. Lillard is in the first year of his $ 176 million four-year contract extension committing to the Trail Blazers until at least 2024. This gives Portland the flexibility to wait for the right trade offer to come in for the superstar point guard.
Another ripple in a trade before the deadline is that Lillard is currently not playing for the Blazers after abdominal surgery and will be out indefinitely.
At 31, the clock is ticking for Lillard about his chances of winning an NBA championship, and with the Trail Blazers playing 10 games under .500 this season with a record of 21-31, it may be time for it. ‘ a move. Even if Lillard chooses to move, he will always be a Portland legend, playing for the Trail Blazers for 10 years and averaging 24.6 points and 6.6 assists per game over 711 career games.
The NBA trading deadline is less than a week and ends on February 10th.