NBA Rumors: Damian Lillard Better Off Staying With Blazers Than Joining Lakers Or Warriors

Damian Lillard going to the center of the court
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Basketball

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard is one of the superstars who are frequently mentioned in various trade speculations since the start of the 2021 offseason. After being embarrassed by the short-handed Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, most people believe that Lillard would finally follow in the footsteps of other superstars and start finding his way out of Portland.

In the past months, Lillard has already been linked to several contenders that are in dire need of a backcourt boost to improve their chances of winning the NBA championship title next season.

Damian Lillard Should Stay With Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard making plays for the Trail Blazers
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However, a month before the 2021-22 NBA season officially begins, Lillard remains an official member of the Trail Blazers' roster. Plenty of things could still happen between now and the start of the regular season but if he's the one to decide, Brat Botkin of CBS Sports believes that Lillard is better off staying with the Blazers than joining legitimate contenders like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors.

"Personally, if I were Lillard, I'd rather stay with the Blazers and come up short than join, say, the Golden State Warriors or Lakers and win a ring," Botkin wrote.

Damian Lillard Still Loyal With Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard taking a free throw
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Both the Lakers and the Warriors would undeniably be intriguing landing spots for the Lillard. Compared to the Trail Blazers, joining the Lakers or the Warriors would give Lillard a better chance of reaching the NBA Finals and capturing his first Larry O'Brien Trophy in the 2021-22 NBA season. However, Lillard doesn't seem to be the type of superstar who's willing to throw away his loyalty just to win an NBA championship title.

Since the start of the 2021 offseason, Lillard has been telling everyone in the league that he has no plan to demand a trade and that he wants to spend his entire career in Portland.

Trail Blazers Remain A 'Good & Dangerous Team'

A member of the Portland Trailblazers.
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The Trail Blazers may not be on the same level as the Lakers and the Warriors right now, but they aren't a team that can be underestimated. Despite failing to make major roster upgrades this summer, Botkin believes that the Trail Blazers are still a "good and dangerous team" in the Western Conference.

"No, the Blazers would not appear to be an upper-class contender. But they have a chance to be a top-four seed in the Western Conference as constructed, and that is a really good team," Botkin wrote.

Rumors Surrounding Damian Lillard Expected To Continue In 2021-22 Season

Damian Lillard of the Portaland Trailblazers running down the court.
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Both Lillard and the Trail Blazers have already denied that they are planning to part ways this summer. However, it is unlikely to be enough to stop Lillard from being the subject of trade speculations. The rumors surrounding the All-Star point guard are expected to continue in the 2021-22 NBA season, especially if they have a slow start.

As of now, several teams are closely monitoring Lillard's situation in Portland, including the Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and the New Orleans Pelicans.