With the Blazers losing in the first-round for the fourth time in five years, the future of many of their players, including Damian Lillard, is up in the air.
Lillard has always stayed firm to his disposition of wanting to remain in Portland for the majority of his career if not all of it.
After their Game 6 home loss to Denver, which saw Lillard finish with 28 points and 13 assists, he gave possibly the first inkling of him being upset with the team.
"I mean, we didn't win a championship, so obviously where we are now isn't good enough," Lillard said. "I don't know what a shakeup looks like or what changes will be made or could be made, but obviously as is, it wasn't good enough. We came up short against a team without their starting point guard (Jamal Murray) and shooting guard (Will Barton).”
Lillard would then go in Instagram, quoting Nipsey Hussle:
“How long should I stay dedicated? How long til opportunity meet preparation?”
In less than 24 hours after the game, Lillard’s post-game comments and social post have created great speculation regarding his future in the pacific northwest.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is reporting all of the members of Lillard’s inner circle “feel he should leave.”
Smith says he mentioned to Lillard he should be with the Knicks, but the guard shunned him for saying that.
As for his reporting, Smith noted “six or seven teams” believe they can acquire Lillard, including the Knicks, Clippers, Heat, and possibly the Lakers.
Not only will the asking price for Lillard be high, but it may be difficult for teams with limited cap space to acquire him.
This upcoming season Lillard starts his four-year, $176M extension