Damian Lillard asks the Trail Blazers for a trade, team confirms

by Sophia Chen
Damian Lillard trade request

Trail Blazers Confirm Damian Lillard’s Trade Request

After spending 11 years in Portland, Damian Lillard has expressed his desire to compete for an NBA championship elsewhere. Lillard formally requested a trade from the Trail Blazers, marking the end of his tenure with the team, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The team later confirmed Lillard’s trade request.

The reigning Eastern Conference champions might be a potential destination for Lillard, although the Trail Blazers are not guaranteed to facilitate such a specific move.

In a statement released by the team, Blazers general manager Joe Cronin acknowledged Lillard’s request, saying, “We have always made it clear that we want Dame to remain here. However, he informed us today of his desire to leave and play elsewhere. Our commitment to winning remains unchanged, and we will do what is best for the team in pursuit of that goal.”

Lillard is coming off a remarkable season with the Trail Blazers, averaging 32.2 points. He is a seven-time All-NBA selection and a member of the NBA’s 75th anniversary team, but he has never come close to winning a championship during his 11-year career.

Lillard has met with the Portland organization multiple times in recent weeks, urging them to upgrade the roster to create a championship-caliber team. However, these efforts have not satisfied Lillard, leading to his request for a trade.

The timing of Lillard’s decision coincided with the second day of NBA free agency, following the Trail Blazers’ successful retention of Jerami Grant with a lucrative five-year, $160 million deal.

Despite Lillard’s impressive individual accomplishments, he has not experienced significant postseason success. The Trail Blazers have won only four playoff series during his tenure and reached the Western Conference finals only once. Last season, they finished with a 33-49 record, missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Nonetheless, Lillard is undoubtedly a dynamic player, averaging at least 24 points per game in each of the last eight seasons. His career scoring average of 25.2 points ranks fourth among active players (with at least 375 games), trailing only Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, and LeBron James. If the list is expanded to all players regardless of game minimums, Lillard would also trail Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson, and Trae Young.

During the past season, Lillard showcased his scoring prowess with a remarkable 71-point game against the Houston Rockets. He has recorded 17 games with at least 50 points throughout his career, including two in the playoffs. In addition to his on-court achievements, Lillard has been named Rookie of the Year, Teammate of the Year, and won the NBA’s citizenship award. He also recently earned an Olympic gold medal while representing the United States at the Tokyo Games, expressing his enjoyment of playing alongside Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo.

The only notable absence from Lillard’s illustrious career is an NBA championship. Now, he seeks a move to pursue that elusive title.

Acquiring Lillard from the Trail Blazers will likely require a substantial package, involving both players and draft picks, to persuade Portland to part ways with their star. Lillard is set to earn nearly $46 million in the upcoming season and could make up to $216 million over the next four years if he exercises his option for the 2026-27 season.

Although Lillard is highly regarded in Portland, there were already speculations about his future with the team when the Blazers selected point guard Scoot Henderson with the third overall pick in the recent NBA draft instead of packaging the pick for an established star player.

On draft night, Cronin expressed his intention to utilize both Lillard and Henderson, stating, “I would love to see Dame retire as a Trail Blazer. I have no desire to trade him. I genuinely hope this situation works out here. And I am extremely excited about Scoot Henderson. He has the potential to be a special player in this league.”

The Blazers officially signed Henderson to a rookie contract on Saturday. The 6-foot-2 teenager, often compared to Russell Westbrook, spent the previous two seasons with the G League Ignite. During his time with Ignite, Henderson averaged 17.6 points and a team-high 6.5 assists. He graduated from high school in Marietta, Georgia, ahead of schedule to become the youngest player in G League history.

AP Sports Writer Anne M. Peterson in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this report.

More AP NBA: https://bigbignews.net/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Damian Lillard trade request

Q: Why did Damian Lillard ask for a trade from the Trail Blazers?

A: Damian Lillard expressed his desire to contend for an NBA championship and felt that he needed to move to another team in order to make that happen.

Q: How many seasons has Damian Lillard played for the Trail Blazers?

A: Damian Lillard has played 11 seasons for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Q: Has Damian Lillard ever won an NBA championship?

A: No, Damian Lillard has not won an NBA championship during his career.

Q: What are the accomplishments of Damian Lillard in the NBA?

A: Damian Lillard is a seven-time All-Star, a seven-time All-NBA selection, and was selected to the NBA’s 75th anniversary team. He has also won numerous awards, including Rookie of the Year, Teammate of the Year, and the NBA’s citizenship award.

Q: What are the chances of Damian Lillard being traded?

A: Damian Lillard’s trade will likely require a significant package, involving players and draft picks, to convince the Trail Blazers to part ways with their star player.

Q: How much is Damian Lillard’s salary for the upcoming season?

A: Damian Lillard is set to earn nearly $46 million in the upcoming season.

Q: Who is Scoot Henderson and how does he relate to Damian Lillard’s trade request?

A: Scoot Henderson is a point guard recently drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers. While there were speculations about Lillard’s future with the team, the Blazers’ general manager expressed his intention to utilize both Lillard and Henderson.

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hoopsguy23 July 2, 2023 - 8:25 pm

damian lillard, such a talented player! he’s been with the blazers 4 11 seasons but no ring yet. gotta respect his hustle, hope he gets what he wants.

BallIsLife4ever July 3, 2023 - 12:51 am

yo, did u hear? lillard wants out! he wants to win a chip so bad. can’t blame him, he’s a beast on the court. curious 2 see where he ends up.

BasketballFan87 July 3, 2023 - 4:16 am

damian lillard wants 2 trade! He wants 2 win a championship! He asked the trail blazers 4 a trade. Hope he finds success elsewhere!


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