The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to once again go big-game hunting this offseason following their disappointing exit in the first round of the playoffs.
The NBA rumor mill has wasted no time getting going with a number of high-profile players reportedly exploring their options. Among them is Damian Lillard’s supposed dissatisfaction with the Portland Trail Blazers.
There is plenty of speculation regarding Lillard’s situation in Portland and how the team plans on moving forward following their own early exit from the postseason. This has led to rumors that he may look to be moved if the team is unable to bring in All-Star-caliber talent around him.
Lillard is currently in the midst of leading Team USA through training camp for the Tokyo Olympics. However, he had time to shoot down any reports that may have come from him, via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst:
“Anything that I have to say, I’m going to say directly to [Blazers general manager] Neil [Olshey] and I’m going to address it directly with my team,” Lillard said after the third day of Team USA training camp in Las Vegas. “There’s really nothing else I have to say about it.”
Lillard added that all the rumors have been nothing but noise up to this point:
“There’s a lot of things being said and sometimes words being put in my mouth, and I haven’t said anything,” Lillard said. “If there is something to be said or if I think something or have something to say that I’m going to say it and I’m going to stand on it.”
The Trail Blazers kickstarted the offseason with an eventful coaching search in which Lillard played an integral part in. Although reports suggested that Lillard initially wanted Lakers’ assistant coach Jason Kidd as the replacement, he has since endorsed Chauncey Billups as the new head coach.
Regardless, there are still questions regarding whether or not Portland will be able to shore up a stronger supporting cast. The fate of this roster is likely contingent on whatever direction Lillard is leaning in.
Should he somehow be made available, there is no question that the Lakers will be pegged as one of the frontrunners to acquire Lillard’s services.
LeBron, Lillard greet each other at Sparks game
Lillard has spent plenty of time in Hollywood as of late with his role alongside LeBron James in Space Jam 2: A New Legacy. The pair were even recently seen at a Sparks game dapping each other up.
— WNBA (@WNBA) July 1, 2021
Even if the greeting was likely nothing more than two fans of basketball enjoying a game, this has only helped add fuel to the fire of a potential alliance.
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