When Damian Lillard was considering a transaction request this past holiday season, Portland Trail Blazers must convince him that staying is the best thing for his career. They were successful, but seem to have done their job too well. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Lillard now wants a two-year, $107 million contract extension that will pay him $55 million during the 36-year-old season from the Blazers. Portland recently fired general manager Neil Olshey, but according to Wojnarowski, the top-level GM candidate Portland wants to consider for the position is not interested in such a contract and would prefer to move from Lillard sooner rather than later. .
Lillard will be eligible for an extension in July, but according to Wojnarowski, he will need the team’s next GM to sell the transfer to owner Jody Allen. Olshey, who has been fighting for his job through successive seasons of disappointment, may have been more eager to make the mutual commitment alongside Lillard. However, a new CEO with more runways might see things differently. Allen inherited the team following the death of her brother, former Blazers owner Paul Allen, and it is unclear if she plans to keep the team or sell it.
Ironically, Lillard seems to be ushering in a rebuild… but one he will be joining. Robert Covington and Jusuf Nurkic, both in terms of contracts expiring, are both reasonable commercial candidates for the Blazers. Lillard is also said to have tried to get the Blazers to trade teammate CJ McCollum for Philadelphia 76ers protection point Ben Simmons, but no agreement was made.
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There is no telling how this situation will play out for the Blazers if they choose not to renew Lillard, whose current contract is guaranteed until the end of the 2023-24 season and has a player option for the campaign. 2024-25, but teams around the league are watching it closely. The three teams told Wojnarowski they were waiting for Lillard to issue a transaction request in the hope that it would lower Portland’s asking price. Philadelphia is said to have made an offer, but New York Knicks, another team with rumored interest, is not. No other teams are known to have made offers.
The situation could have been simpler had Lillard opened the season stronger. So far, he’s only averaged 21.5 points per game – his lowest since the 2015-16 season – with a career-low 39.7% shot rate. He is currently sidelined with an abdominal injury and played injured during the Tokyo Olympics in the summer.
Age and injury pose a threat to his superstardom in the years to come. He can also simply adapt to NBAnew rules and reinstatement. There’s no way to know, but signing Lillard for an extra $107 million would be a big risk for the Blazers. A few months ago, they were desperate to bring him back. Now, they are certainly wondering if doing so is worth it.
https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/damian-lillard-wants-two-year-107-million-extension-but-blazers-gm-candidates-are-against-it-per-report/ Damian Lillard wants two-year, $107 million extension, but Blazers GM candidates are against it, according to report