What is Damian Lillard’s contract with the Portland Trail Blazers?

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Damian Lillard trade process continues to move at a snail’s pace, with the latest rumors not really being rumors at all. Lillard wants to play for the Miami Heat, the Heat have held talks with the Trail Blazers, Portland said make your best offer, Miami didn’t, and here we (still) are.

It doesn’t appear that a conclusion to the saga is coming anytime soon, as the Blazers’ valuation of their franchise star understandably exceeds that of other organizations, which view Lillard certainly as a superstar, but also an aging and expensive one.

Just how expensive is Lillard’s contract, and is it affecting trade talks?

Damian Lillard’s contract with the Portland Trail Blazers

Lillard signed a four-year, $176 million deal with Portland before the 2021-22 season with an average annual value of $44,066,288 that runs through next season. He picked up his $49 million player option for 2024-25.

Dame and the Blazers then agreed to a two-year, $122 million extension last summer. He has a $63 million player option for the 2026-27 season – at age 36 – before becoming an unrestricted free agent the following summer.

Including the ’26-27 player option, Lillard is owed about $216 million over the next four seasons. That’s a huge chunk of money for a player of Lillard’s age, especially considering how poorly small players age in the NBA, even one with Dame’s work ethic and even if he’s coming off a career scoring year at 32.

This relatively exorbitant salary is certainly factoring into trade talks, whether they’re with the Heat or otherwise. Mortgaging a large part of the future for an aging, expensive player – even for a player of Dame’s caliber – would require a serious discussion inside front offices.

Next. Blazers projected starting lineup after potential Lillard trade. dark

The Trail Blazers will rightly hold out for a significant return for the most beloved player in Portland history. However, Cronin may eventually need to come to some sort of compromise and reduce his asking price of four first-round picks and two young players in order to get a deal done, especially considering Lillard’s contract.