One of the best shooters in the game may want a change in scenery. Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard is running out of time to win a championship. Clearly, something is missing in Portland. Is it time for the 2021 Olympian to move on? Where should he go? All good questions. Let’s discuss.
Lillard is not your typical NBA super star. He’s not a hot head and he’s not an egomaniac. A breath of fresh air for sure. It is very possible that he chooses to stay with Portland. But here is the big question. What will change if he stays? Portland doesn’t seem to draw big name free agents. They seem to fly under the radar as a team. Reports say that Portland needs/wants a skilled center and another good forward. Jarrett Allen is a name to watch and has been linked to Charlotte, Dallas, Toronto, and Washington. Cleveland is also interested in keeping him and will make him a big offer. With no first or second round picks in the upcoming draft, and being $14,724,135 over the salary cap, let’s just say things aren’t looking good.
Look Portland fans, I know you guys don’t want to hear this. But, it is worth noting that Lillard commands a lot of value, and teams would give up the ranch and more in return for a player of his caliber. Lillard is 31, CJ McCollum is 30, and Robert Covington is 30. In total, their base salaries take up $83,184,639 in cap space. Jusuf Nurkic has also stated that he feels uncertain about his future with the organization. Trading these contracts away would clear a ton of cap space and give Portland some breathing room. It would also leave a massive hole in terms of talent and production. A youth movement would allow Portland to start fresh. On the flipside of that, it means a lot of growing pains moving forward.
Hard decisions will have to be made. Not to mention they still need a head coach. Lillard’s public endorsement of Jason Kidd scared him away. If Kidd becomes a head coach somewhere, keep an eye on a potential request to go there. Teams like Boston, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Orlando should closely monitor the situation as teams who are lacking scoring or trying to get over the hump. Either way, Dame time may be up for the Blazers.
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