Damian Lillard trade rumors are a hot topic on social media. As the Portland Trail Blazers face the possibility of missing the 2018 NBA Playoffs, it might even make sense for the franchise to take a hard look at its long-term future. These NBA trade rumors didn’t come from the team, though, but rather from a tirade that ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith just made.
Smith is very frustrated that Lillard was left out of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, and he claims that it is because the Blazers lack media attention in the Pacific Northwest. ESPN published a video of Smith talking during First Take, where he urged the Blazers to trade Lillard as soon as possible. Smith’s plea got a lot of fans talking on Facebook and Twitter, stirring up additional NBA trade rumors about what Portland could do before the deadline in February.
Stephen A. Smith has made a career out of saying outrageous things on TV to get people talking and he didn’t hold back in this segment. Smith went on to say that Damian Lillard should go to the front office of the Portland Trail Blazers and demand a trade. Smith feels that Lillard is never going to receive the accolades that he deserves while playing in Portland and that it is time for the point guard to go to a major market.
It’s important to point out that Lillard has always expressed joy in playing for Portland, that he has always talked about loyalty on his social media accounts, and that he has never asked to be traded by the struggling franchise. Lillard seems like that type of player who would play his entire career with one franchise and the fans at Moda Center love cheering him on. With all that being said, it might just be important for the franchise to take a hard look at what the long-term plan is going to be with the roster.
With a third-straight win by the Blazers on Saturday night (January 20), the team has moved up to the sixth seed in the Western Conference standings at 25-21. If the season ended today (January 21), that would mean a first-round playoff series against LaMarcus Aldridge and the San Antonio Spurs. This suddenly puts the Blazers two games ahead of the No. 9 Denver Nuggets in the West as well.
Damian Lillard is definitely putting up All-Star numbers again and that is why his name is so popular in NBA trade rumors. Through 39 games this season, Lillard is averaging 25.2 points, 6.6 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. It might just be his best all-around season since entering the league, underscoring what Stephen A. Smith stated about Lillard deserving more accolades for his accomplishments.
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 21, 2018
If the Portland Trail Blazers can make the 2018 NBA Playoffs and Damian Lillard can make some noise against the San Antonio Spurs, maybe he will get noticed more on a league-wide scale. Blazers fans fondly remember how well Lillard played against the Houston Rockets in the 2014 playoffs, but it was the Spurs that derailed the team in a second-round series. While there is some truth to what Stephen A. Smith said on First Take, trading Lillard isn’t something that the Blazers are publicly pursuing with a playoff spot on the line.