The 2021 NBA offseason could be a wild one when it comes to trades. Not only is Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons involved in plenty of trade rumors, it's time to throw Portland Trail Blazers superstar guard Damian Lillard into the mix, too.
The report, per Damian Lillard, is not true. "I woke up to those reports" Lillard said after Team USA practice Friday. "You know a lot of people reaching out to me. But it's not true. I'll start off the rip and say it's not true. I said the last time I spoke to you guys that a lot of things are being said and it hasn't come from me. Number one, it's not true. And secondly I'll also say that I haven't made any firm decision on what my future will be. So there's really no need for anybody else to speak for me or report this or report that."
TrueHoop's Henry Abbott reported that Friday that "a source close to Lillard says that in the days to come, he plans to request a trade."
According to Yahoo Sports NBA Insider Chris Haynes, Lillard will address these reports Friday afternoon after Team USA practice.
Lillard was selected by the Blazers with the No. 6 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He's one of the greatest players in franchise history. Lillard has been named an All-Star six times and also has been selected to six All-NBA teams.
Team success has eluded Lillard in Portland, though. In his nine seasons with the Blazers, the team has made the playoffs eight times but only advanced past the first round on three occasions. Portland has made only one Western Conference Finals appearance during that span, too. The Blazers have been eliminated in Round 1 in each of the last two seasons.
If Lillard were to leave the Blazers, new head coach Chauncey Billups will have a very important first item on the checklist: rebuild Portland's roster without their star.