Damian Lillard, probably the last NBA superstar who stuck with the team that originally drafted him, will play five or six more games this season as the Portland Trail Blazers plan to shut him down towards the last stretch of games. The team is currently out of the playoffs and play-in picture and it would take a miracle for them to squeeze in the top 10 in the currently packed Western Conference.
Lillard continues to play brilliantly this season, even dropping a 71-point masterclass against the cellar-dwelling Houston Rockets just a few weeks ago, and is currently averaging 32.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 6.7 APG for the season. But even with his brilliance and scoring output, the Blazers continue to struggle and the team is nowhere near playoff contention.
Critics and fans have pointed out that he should demand a trade out of Portland because the team’s championship window has already sailed but Lillard often publicly stated his loyalty to the struggling franchise. The former All-NBA talent is comfortable in Portland and is planning to end his career with the franchise instead of ring-chasing like his fellow players are doing for the past decade.
The Blazers aren’t exactly a hot landing spot for free agents and while they have some decent players on the roster, the team continues to waste Lillard’s prime years by building an inadequate supporting cast behind their loyal superstar.
While we don’t expect much drama coming out of Portland in this upcoming offseason, we all know that a holy grail trade aka the ‘Rudy Gobert Package’ will definitely gauge the organization’s interest in exchange for their coveted all-star and point guard. As we all know by now, nobody in the league is untouchable if the price is right.