Damian Lillard trade demand: It's not true, says Trail Blazers star

by 24USATVJuly 17, 2021, midnight 19
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Portland All-Star guard Damian Lillard denied reports that he would be requesting a trade in the coming days from the Trail Blazers, which included that the Lakers would be one of his desired destinations.

Lillard said he “woke up to those reports” Friday morning before practice with Team USA in Las Vegas.

Lillard also said he hasn’t decided on his future, whether that’s in Portland or somewhere else.

“It’s not true. I’ll start off the rift and say it’s not true,” Lillard said of the reports. “I said the last time I spoke with you guys [in the media] that a lot of things are being said and it hasn’t come from me. So, No. 1, it’s not true. And secondly, I also said that I haven’t made any firm decision on what my future will be. So, it’s really no need for anybody else to speak for me and report this and report that. If there’s something to be said, as I said the last time, I’ll speak directly with my team and with [Portland general manager Neil Olshey]. So, that’s that.”

Lillard, 31, was asked what will go into the decision about his future.

“A lot of things go into it,” he said. “But I choose not to discuss it openly. Like I said, the only people that I need to discuss that with at this moment is my team.”

Lillard said he was aware of the different fan bases around the NBA that want him because he’s active on Twitter.

The Lakers, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors were supposedly on Lillard’s list as trade destinations.

Lillard was asked if he had given any thoughts to which team he’d like to play for if he were to request a trade.

“If I say that I haven’t made a firm decision, that means I’m not looking in the direction of a team and saying this what I’m going to do or anything like that,” Lillard said. “You know, we’re not at that point. So …”

Lillard is about to start his supermax contract for four years and $176 million, beginning with $43 million next season.

He was asked if he was fully committed to the upcoming season with Portland, where he has spent his entire nine seasons.

“Right now, I’m not sure what I’m going to do,” Lillard said. “What I can say is my intention in my heart is always been set in being in a Trail Blazers uniform for my entire career. But over time you want to win it all. I want to win it all in a Trail Blazers uniform. But we all have to be making strides towards that.”

Lillard said he was going to meet with Olshey and new Portland coach Chauncey Billups on Friday in Las Vegas.

As the interview went on, Lillard was asked if he expects to be in a Portland uniform when the season starts.

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