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Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard silences trade rumors by stating ‘I’m not leaving Portland’

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Damian Lillard’s future with the Portland Trail Blazers was one of many greatest questions of the 2021 offseason. After dropping within the first spherical for the fourth time in 5 years, experiences began to counsel that Lillard would possibly wish to go away the one NBA house he is ever identified, and his personal public frustrations with the loss to Denver, a workforce lacking a number of key gamers together with Jamal Murray, gave these experiences some credence. 

However with the 2021-22 season starting, Lillard simply tried to place these rumors to relaxation. In an interview with The Athletic’s Jason Quick, Lillard confirmed that he’s not presently trying to go away the Blazers. “Everyone is saying what they suppose I am pondering, and what they suppose I’ll do, however like, I am not leaving Portland, you understand?” Lillard mentioned. The All-Star level guard acknowledged that he was annoyed with Portland’s stagnancy, however mentioned that new coach Chauncey Billups finally satisfied him that Portland was the place he wished to be.

“I feel an enormous a part of (my change in mindset) was me and Chauncey’s conversations, and the place we see issues the identical,” Lillard informed The Athletic. “I am not going to share particulars of our conversations, but it surely’s not typically once I converse to folks that they see what I see. Watching a recreation, observing individuals … there’s not many individuals who see what I see. However plenty of what I see, he sees. In order that was essential to me. Like, that was an enormous deal.”

Lillard publicly advocated for both Billups or then-Lakers assistant Jason Kidd to get the job to be the Blazers’ subsequent head coach as soon as Terry Stotts was fired, and to this point, Lillard appears to be proud of the choice. Portland kicks off their season at house towards the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, and that may give them an opportunity to indicate off their new and improved roster. 

In the end, Lillard’s dedication to the Blazers goes to relaxation on their success as a workforce. Loads of stars have publicly declared their intentions to stay in a single place however modified their minds after unsuccessful seasons. However the Blazers are hoping that the additions of Larry Nance Jr., Cody Zeller, Tony Snell and Ben McLemore might help enhance their protection and stabilize their bench. Portland’s beginning lineup was stellar after the Norman Powell commerce final season, so if they’ll simply enhance defensively and keep wholesome, the Blazers must be in for a robust season. Lillard committing to that purpose can solely assist that occur. 

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