Sources – Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard requests trade

ESPNJuly 1, 2023, 12:05 PM ET2 minute reading

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has requested a trade, and the franchise is expected to work to accommodate him, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.

The Miami Heat, LA Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers are three teams interested in exploring a trade for Lillard, sources told ESPN.

Lillard’s preference is to be traded to the Heat, according to Andscape’s Mark J. a source told Spears.

The Blazers are expected to honor deals that bring back young players and draft assets.

Lillard considered requesting a trade when he met with the Blazers and general manager Joe Cronin on Monday, but wanted to give them every opportunity to improve the roster as free agency opened, so he remained as calm and supportive as possible this week, sources said. . On Friday night he decided to ask for a trade.

Lillard stuck with the franchise that selected him with the No. 6 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, which saw Portland miss the postseason following eight consecutive trips. But after the Blazers chose to use Scoot Henderson, the No. 3 pick in last month’s draft, the franchise’s future direction became clear.

If Lillard leaves, it will come after 11 seasons in which he made seven All-Star and All-NBA teams and led Portland to the Western Conference Finals in 2018-19. He is first in Blazers history in both points and 3-pointers and second in assists.

Lillard, who turns 33 on July 15, averaged 32.2 points and 7.3 assists last season, but he played in just 58 games last month. Lillard’s season highlight came on February 26 when he exploded for 71 points against the Houston Rockets.

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According to ESPN Stats and Information, his points per game will be high enough to switch teams next season.

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