Damian Lillard found himself mixed up in some recent trade rumors that linked him to both the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. The Portland Trail Blazers star wants it to be clear — he doesn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.
Trade speculation has found Lillard on multiple occasions, despite him being adamant in the past that he’s committed to Portland. The latest report came from Mike Berman of the New York Post, who identified the Knicks and Lakers as possible destinations if Lillard were to have a change of heart and demand a trade.
“If scoring point guard Lillard asks for a trade, it’s believed the Knicks or Lakers would be his choices,” Berman wrote in his mailbag column on Saturday.
Lillard was firm when responding to the rumor on Twitter.
“My stance ain’t changed,” Lillard wrote. “This is a result of a pandemic and lack of content lol.”
Damian Lillard Gets NBA2K Cover
Lillard recently agreed to a four-year, super-max extension with Portland that puts him under contract until the 2023-24 season, with a player-option for the following year. It will pay him $196 million and he currently makes the most among point guards at $49 million per year. John Wall is second at $42.7 million.
Lillard quickly turned himself into the face of the franchise in Portland and one of the premier point guards in the NBA. He was averaging a career-best 28.9 points per game and 7.8 assists, keeping the Blazers afloat after a tough start to the season and still within striking distance of a playoff spot. He dropped one of his best games of the season against the Lakers in late January when he put up 48 points in a 127-119 victory.
While playing in a market like Portland doesn’t put him at the top of the list in terms of household-name NBA stars, Lillard has been finding himself more and more in the spotlight. Recently it was announced that Lillard would be gracing the cover of NBA2K, along with the late Kobe Bryant and Zion Williamson on separate editions.
“Being on the cover of NBA2k is a dream come true,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’ve been playing 2K since the Dreamcast days! Hyped to be the NBA2K21 Current Gen Cover Athlete.”
Lillard Unsure About NBA Bubble Rules in Orlando
Lillard and his Blazers could be on a collision course to see the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, depending on how the seeding games play out in Orlando. Portland is occupying the No. 9 spot and are 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies. Lillard recently said in a Vanity Fair interview that he’d welcome a playoff matchup with the Lakers.
Regardless of how it shakes out for the Blazers, the NBA restart will certainly be a unique situation for the 22 teams taking part. Lillard isn’t sure that everybody will be following the rules to a tee.
“My confidence ain’t great because you’re telling me you’re gonna have 22 teams full of players following all the rules?” Lillard told ESPN. “When we have 100 percent freedom, everybody don’t follow all the rules. I don’t have much confidence. But hopefully it’ll be handled to a point where we’re not putting everybody at risk or in a dangerous position.”