Damian Lillard Breaks Silence On Trade Rumors Surrounding Him & The Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard running the Blazers' offense
Gettyimages | Jonathan Ferrey
Basketball

Since suffering another huge disappointment in the 2020-21 NBA season, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star point guard Damian Lillard and his future with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers have already told everyone in the league that they have no intention of moving Lillard. However, if they won't show him a clear path to title contention, most people believe that it would only be a matter of time before Lillard follows in the footsteps of other superstars and start finding his way out of Portland.

Damian Lillard Discusses Trade Rumors

Damian Lillard urging fans to cheer after a successful basket
Gettyimages | Steph Chambers

After the third day of Team USA practice in Las Vegas, Lillard was asked by reporters regarding the trade rumors surrounding him and the Trail Blazers. As of now, Lillard said that he hasn't demanded a trade from the Trail Blazers. If he wants to discuss something, he said that he would talk directly to Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey.

"Anything that I have to say, I'm going to say directly to [Blazers general manager] Neil [Olshey] and I'm going to address it directly with my team," Lillard said, as quoted by ESPN. "There's really nothing else I have to say about it."

Damian Lillard Denies Yahoo Sports' Report

Damian Lillard taking a shot
Gettyimages | Matthew Stockman

Lillard also grabbed the opportunity to deny the report Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes made last month that the Trail Blazers' coaching search and inability to build a title contender around him could push him "out the door."

"There's a lot of things being said and sometimes words being put in my mouth, and I haven't said anything," Lillard said. "If there is something to be said or if I think something or have something to say that I'm going to say it and I'm going to stand on it."

Chauncey Billups Hiring Supported By Damian Lillard

Chauncey Billups talking to reporters
Gettyimages | Dylan Buell

The Trail Blazers became the center of controversy when they decided to hire Chauncey Billups as their new head coach. Before they made his hiring official, a 1997 rape allegation involving Billups have resurfaced on the web. Lillard was criticized by fans for expressing his support to Billups.

However, Lillard claimed that he wasn't aware of Billups' previous case when he endorsed to become their new head coach. Also, though he remains supportive of the hiring, Lillard said that the decision to give Billups the job was made by their front office.

Potential Suitors Of Damian Lillard On Trade Market

Damian Lillard signals its Dame Time
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

Since the Trail Blazers got eliminated in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, Lillard has already been linked to several potential suitors on the trade market. These include the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics.

Most of the teams mentioned could come up with an interesting trade package that may convince the Trail Blazers to engage in a blockbuster deal. They could explore a superstar-for-superstar trade or offer the Trail Blazers a package that consists of young players and multiple first-round picks.