Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard denies making trade request and hopes big changes


LAS VEGAS – Damian Lillard has denied a report that he will soon be asking for a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, but has expressed that he is in conflict over the issue and hopes big changes will take him out of the fence.

“Right now I don’t know what I’m going to do. What I can say are my intentions and my heart has always been to wear the Trail Blazers uniform for my entire career,” Lillard said after the event. team training on Friday. at UNLV. “But I think over time you want to win it all. And I want to win it all in a Trail Blazers uniform. But we all have to make progress in that direction.”

Earlier on Friday, basketball website TrueHoop announced that Lillard would be requesting a trade in the near future. Lillard has had conversations about the Blazers’ offseason plans with team governor Jody Allen and general manager Neil Olshey. Lillard plans to have dinner in Vegas with Olshey and new Blazers coach Chauncey Billups later Friday, a meeting that had been previously scheduled.

Lillard, who is on contract until 2024, has made it clear what his message is to management. Although the team has made the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons, the Blazers have been eliminated in the first round in four of the past five years. After turning 31 on Thursday, Lillard makes it known that he does not agree with the status quo.

“The best way to put it is to be more urgent about our next step and how we are moving forward,” said Lillard. “We’re not a bad team; we’re a winning team. We have a great environment, we have a great city, we have great fans, there are a lot of positives.

“I just think we’ve reached that point where it’s like, okay, that’s not enough. Do we really want to win it all? Is that what we’re aiming for? We have to do things to show it. . We “I have to put some action behind this. This desire to win at this level has been my only thing all this time. “

That feeling and the uncertain way the Blazers will react to it has led rival teams to keep a close eye on Lillard’s moves and words. This led to a frenzy on Friday when another report about his situation was posted on social media.

The star leader leaves for Tokyo for three weeks with Team USA on Monday. During his absence, the Blazers will run the draft, although they currently have no picks and free agency. Which makes the meeting with Olshey and Billups potentially important.

Lillard has said he expects to be in a Blazers uniform next season, but has also left himself a lot of leeway. “I haven’t made any firm decisions on what my future will be,” he said. “A lot of things come into play.”


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