Brace yourselves, Trail Blazers fans. The Damian Lillard rumors will keep pouring in for months to come.
After Portland fired president of basketball operations and general manager Neil Olshey on Friday following the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct, the conversation about the Trail Blazers immediately shifted to Lillard’s future. with the franchise. Olshey had consistently backtracked even considering a Lillard trade, but the next GM might want to hit the reset button considering Portland has lost in the first round of the playoffs in four of the past five seasons and struggled to start the 2023 campaign. -22. .
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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday that Lillard wants to sign a two-year $ 107 million extension with the Trail Blazers, keeping him in Portland until 2026-27, but several general manager candidates are not interested in paying the six-time All-Star. money in their mid-30s.
From Wojnarowski’s report:
Prospects for Portland to extend Lillard, 31, beyond his $ 48.8 million in 2024-25 to pay him $ 51 million at 35 and $ 55 million at 36 threaten to convert a contract asset in an albatross. …
Among several high-profile GM candidates who fit the profile of Portland’s pool of candidates, there is no enthusiasm to award Lillard his massive extension contract through the 2026-27 season. In fact, several executives told ESPN they would be far more interested in the Blazers’ job with the property’s blessing of moving Lillard sooner rather than later.
Wojnarowski added that Lillard’s group is “privately selling” the idea of trading veterans from the Trail Blazers to rebuild the roster around Lillard. A separate report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick indicated that Lillard wants to see changes to the roster and that he “would like to play with” 76ers star Ben Simmons.
MORE: Is Ben Simmons The Answer For The Trail Blazers?
Is this how Lillard feels about the situation? Apparently not. He addressed Wojnarowski’s report in multiple social media posts on Tuesday.
On Instagram, Lillard shared a quote: “Gossip can reveal the realities of your subject; it always reveals the gossip bias.”
See this post on Instagram
He then responded to a tweet that featured a photo of former President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence shaking hands with the caption: “Woj and Olshey after writing that article slandering Dame.”
“Can’t say I’m surprised,” Lillard tweeted.
I can’t say I’m surprised. https://t.co/AwOUKOfGQv
– Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) December 7, 2023
Does Lillard believe that Olshey is the primary source for Wojnarowski’s report? Would you rather have new teammates around you? What happens if an extension is not offered to you?
Lillard has not discussed the status of the organization with members of the media since Olshey’s firing, as he is still recovering from an abdominal injury. But it’s safe to say that you will have a lot of questions to answer the next time you step into a microphone.