Damian Lillard has vowed to stay with the Trail Blazers time and time again. He now appears to be requesting that they repay him by exchanging their draft pick for additional assistance.
Damian Lillard just completed what was arguably his best season to date. He set career highs in points per game and usage rate, posted his highest true shooting percentage yet, had 12 games go over 40 points, and had three games go over 50 points.
The Trail Blazers, however, missed the NBA Play-In Tournament by seven full games with a final record of 33-49. The Blazers finished below.500 for just the fourth time in his career, but three of those occurred in the previous four years.
There is also the complicating issue that keeping their picks might help the team more in the short term than anything they could trade for. This class is deep and talented, loaded with NBA-ready players even late in the first round. Don’t forget — the Blazers’ pick from last season, Shaedon Sharpe, has already become a key rotational piece.
If the Blazers do land at No. 1, they could be in for a very difficult decision, choosing between a generational talent like Victor Wembanyama and keeping Lillard happy.