We've had unprecedented access to Damian Lillard's thought process for years and this offseason has taken the cake in terms of reports about what's going on up there. We know that he wants out and he really wants out in the form of a trade to the Miami Heat. And that is certainly no shade toward Yahoo's Chris Haynes, who has clearly cultivated and leveraged a trusting relationship with the second best shooter of all time. Every journalist worth their salt wishes they could have access like this to a person who is perpetually wedged into the rumor mill.
That doesn't make it any less ridiculous or the task of working in the Trail Blazers front office any more bizarre. Because today we got a report that, if you think about it, borders on absurdist art.
What does that mean? Players are watching how the Blazers are going to treat Dame? Or else what? Portland ceases to become an attractive destination for big-name free agents like — checks notes — Justise Winslow? If they don't maximize the return for Lillard while also making sure he gets to join a championship contender immediately ... the next generational player who finds themselves drafted there will have serious doubts about remaining loyal? What are the actual stakes here?
This is just the way things are now and there's no putting any toothpaste back in the tube but the entire ecosystem is just beginning for some sardonic people with critical thinking skills to dump all over the breathless reporting that isn't worth the free paper it's printed on.
Serious question. In what world does this little nugget of information do what it's intended to do and put more pressure on Portland brass? They should be sitting around a big conference room table laughing at it.