Latest NBA Leads

Damian Lillard Could Ask Out of Portland After Chauncey Billups Chaos

Ryan Phillips
Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Six
Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Six / Steph Chambers/Getty Images
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Damian Lillard's time with the Portland Trail Blazers may be rapidly approaching its end. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is reporting Lillard's patience with the only franchise he's ever known is waning and he could ask to be traded.

From Haynes' piece:

Lillard has remained loyal to Portland in large part due to the tremendous fan base. But over the last few days, he’s seen some of those same fans attacking him on social media for a pending coaching hire he played no part in consummating, sources said.

The Trail Blazers are reportedly on the verge of hiring Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups as the team's next head coach. Lillard has a relationship with Billups but the All-NBA guard had no knowledge of the sexual assault allegations against him from 1997.

The Blazers are expected to announce Billups' hiring on Tuesday.

The article continues:

The coaching search was conducted by Neil Olshey, the team’s president of basketball operations. None of the candidates who were interviewed were from suggestions from Lillard, sources said.

We don't know how involved Lillard was in the coaching search, but it clearly has him annoyed. On top of that, Olshey has failed to create a championship roster around him. The Blazers have reached the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons but have only advanced to the Western Conference Finals once -- they were swept by the Golden State Warriors in 2019. They've lost in the first round in five of those eight postseason trips.

Lillard is 30 and is about to start a four-year, $196 million supermax contract extension. If he wants out, the time to demand a trade is now. And it might happen.

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