After 11 straight years of unconditional loyalty, it appears that the Portland Trail Blazers have finally drawn Damian Lillard’s last straw, as the Top 75 nominated point guard has officially requested a trade away from the Blazers, according to multiple sources. For the last two years, Lillard has been promised a roster that he can compete for a title with.
Lillard was more than complacent and patient, buying into the vision that new General Manager Joe Cronin had sold him following the dismissal of former executive, Neil Olshey.
Along with the plans that Cronin laid out, Dame was also made to buy into two years worth of tanking, sitting out a multitude of games in order to ensure that the Trail Blazers would lose as many games as possible to maximize their chances in the NBA Draft Lottery.
The results? The seventh-overall pick in 2022, which turned into Canadian phenom Shaedon Sharpe, and the third-overall pick in 2023, which would turn out to be Damian Lillard’s successor in Scoot Henderson.
It was rumored that Cronin and the front office assured Lillard that short of landing the number one overall pick and, with it, Victor Wembenyama, the Blazers would be very aggressive in trading whatever selection they landed in order to bring in more immediate talent to help Lillard in his title pursuit.
With the way the lottery balls landed, though, with the Charlotte Hornets nabbing the second-overall pick causing Henderson to fall to three, it appears that Portland was more comfortable starting a rebuild around Scoot and Shaedon Sharpe than trading number three in hopes of landing a talent that could bring the Blazers over the top.
Damian Lillard contract details
Now, clearly flustered with the broken promises and the lack of resources the Blazers have to build a competitive roster, Lillard has finally asked out and went on record to name the Miami Heat as his one and only desired destination.
After over a decade of loyalty, Dame has placed his team against the wall, taking away whatever leverage they had in a potential negotiation and made it clear that he intends to take his destiny back into his own hands.
Clearly unimpressed with Cronin’s ability to build a contender around him, it doesn’t appear that Lillard trusts his former general manager to ensure that he be traded to a competitive team either. Lillard has made his intentions clear. Now it’s time to truly see what kind of mettle Joe Cronin has.
🚨 BREAKING: Damian Lillard has requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, per multiple sources. pic.twitter.com/hsqZzVeoY7
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) July 1, 2023
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| Title: Damian Lillard has the Portland Trail Blazers against the wall
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: July 10, 2023