The Blazers shouldn’t want to burn the bridge with Damian Lillard
Finally, and perhaps the most important reason why the Portland Trail Blazers should trade Damian Lillard before the start of training camp, is because the last thing that needs to be done is for a bridge to be burned between the two sides. When Lillard’s pursuit of a title is over, wherever he gets traded, he’s likely going to come back to Portland. The only thing that could possibly prevent that from happening is a burned bridge.
Even after he retires, Lillard is going to be a prominent face in the Portland community. The Blazers can’t burn that bridge. Sometimes pettiness and ego can cause that to happen. Has Lillard put the organization in a great spot with the specificity of his trade demand? No. However, there’s a reason for that. Either he was misled by the general manager or something went wrong along the way in their relationship. That’s the only explanation for Lillard’s change of character recently.
And the Blazers should bite the bullet for that. Burning a bridge with Lillard is not worth it in the long run for the franchise just to get one more first-round pick or to try and save face by saying they traded Lillard on their terms.
That’s selfish and will only damage the relationship more than it has already been. It’s time for the Blazers to make lemonade out of lemons, and trade Lillard before the start of training camp.