Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard make it clear he won’t be traded

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, trade (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, trade (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images) /
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /

Basketball media has been alive with Damian Lillard trade rumor stories for weeks. But the Portland Trail Blazers shut all that down, saying he is not available.

We said it here on Tuesday: Damian Lillard does not want to be traded, and the Portland Trail Blazers‘ management – interim though it may be – isn’t ready to completely tear down a squad that has made the playoffs an NBA-leading eight straight seasons.

Of course, that didn’t stop our counterparts in the hoops media from proposing all manner of awful deals. Even our friends over at Hardwood Houdini seem to think Lillard can be had for a Gatorade jug and two clean towels.

I don’t blame them; every team in the NBA should want Lillard, just like Blazer fans covet Zion Williamson or Giannis Antetokounmpo. But when I pine for either of those freakishly talented big men, I know I am only living in dreamland – especially when I conjure up trade scenarios where we give up two B-level players and a second-round draft pick for a megastar.

But don’t just take my word for it. Apparently league über-insider Adrian Wojnarowski has heard from one of his myriad of sources exactly what we had established earlier this week: that Lillard isn’t going anywhere.

Again, I fully understand the puddles of drool in front of NBA fans and general managers alike. Lillard is a generational talent and a respected veteran presence. But he is still the cornerstone of a relatively successful team, the last two weeks notwithstanding.

After an uncharacteristic slow start, Lillard had returned to form, leading the team in scoring and assists before being sidelined by abdominal tendinopathy. He may return Sunday and will be called upon to take the scoring burden from CJ McCollum and his collapsed lung.

The Blazers have lost four of five games without Lillard and eight of their last nine, so his hasty return will be most welcome. And if Woj and I are to be believed, he’ll be sticking around for a while.

Next. The Trail Blazers can drive the price down on Ben Simmons. dark