Bucks’ Damian Lillard Opens Up About Possible Trail Blazers Reunion

Damian Lillard

Getty Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard will face off against the Portland Trail Blazers for the first time since they traded him to the Milwaukee Bucks. Though Lillard will be on the Bucks for the foreseeable future, he has not eliminated going back to the Trail Blazers.

Lillard talked about a possible return while talking with The Oregonian’s Aaron Fentress, though it won’t be anytime soon.

“I see there being a time where I play for the Trail Blazers,” he said in a January 30 story. “But it won’t be right now. I play for the Bucks. To accomplish what we want to accomplish, you’ve got to be all in on that. And I was traded, and I’m all in to try to accomplish that here.”

Lillard’s contract runs through 2027, so unless he requests a trade specifically to the Trail Blazers, he won’t return to Portland in the near future. By the time Lillard hits free agency, he’ll be 37 years old and will most likely not be the player he once was. Lillard’s long history with the Trail Blazers evidently still holds a strong enough place in his heart that he hasn’t shut the door on finishing his career there.

Pat Connaughton’s Thoughts on Damian Lillard’s Legacy

The Bucks trading for Damian Lillard marked the second time Damian Lillard and Pat Connaughton became teammates. The two of them played together for the Trail Blazers from 2015 to 2018 before Connaughton signed with the Bucks the following offseason.

Connaughton told Fentress about how much Lillard values the city of Portland.

“Portland welcomed him in as a kid when he went there,” Connaughton said. “It’s where he grew up. His family, friends, his career, everything kind of blossomed for him there. I know, obviously, Portland holds a special place for him.”

Connaughton also talked about how rewarding it’s been for him to watch Lillard make the effort

“It’s cool for me to be able to see it because he deserves it,” Connaughton said. “The work that he puts in, the way that he treats the game of basketball and all that he’s given to the game, for him to be in a position to win a championship, it’s really awesome.”

Connaughton went as far as explaining where Lillard ranks among his favorite teammates.

“Damian Lillard is one of the best teammates I’ve ever had,” Connaughton said. “Obviously, everyone sees what he does on the court. How he handles himself on a daily basis. His professionalism, how he treats his teammates, people in the locker room, people that work for the teams. He’s a pleasure to be around.”

Damian Lillard Confident Bucks Will Hit Their Stride

The Bucks have been winning much like they have been since trading for Damian Lillard. Despite that, Lillard told ESPN’s Jamal Collier that he still feels like he needs to improve in some areas.

“You want to be productive. I want to do what I always do,” Lillard told Collier in a January 31 story. “I still have games and times where I feel like, man, I’m still kind of ironing it out. The thing that I think about all the time is that we’ve got to give ourselves grace to know that’s what the regular season is for. Especially with a trade this big and this much newness is happening.

“We’ve been winning through it. We’ve been finding a way. We just want to hit our stride and for it to click when it should. I got confidence that that will happen.”

Replacing Adrian Griffin with Doc Rivers could help Lillard acclimate himself better with the Bucks.