Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard requests trade

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has requested a trade after spending the first 11 seasons of his career with the team.

“We have been clear that we want Demme here, but he informed us today that he wants to move out and would prefer to play elsewhere,” Portland general manager Joe Cronin said in a statement Saturday. “What hasn’t changed for us is that we are determined to win, and we are going to do what is best for the team to achieve that goal.”

Sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne that the Miami Heat, LA Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers are three teams that would be interested in exploring a trade for Lillard.

A source told Endscape’s Mark J. Told Spears that Lillard’s priority was to do business with the Heat. Sources told Shelburne that Lillard also has deep respect for the San Antonio Spurs organization.

Front offices that spoke to Portland on Saturday got the impression that Cronin is pursuing a star-level return package for Lillard, and GM plans to look beyond the Heat to find one, sources told Wojnarowski. told.

The Blazers are expected to value deals that will bring them young players and draft assets.

Sources said Lillard considered requesting a trade when he met with the Blazers and Cronin on Monday, but he wanted to give him every opportunity to improve the roster as free agency opened, so he could go as far as this week. Remain as calm and helpful as possible. 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 during two seasons in which Portland failed to make the postseason after eight consecutive trips. But after the Blazers opted to use their No. 3 pick in last month’s draft on guard Scooter Henderson, the future direction of the franchise was clear.

Although free agent deals may not be formalized and signed until Thursday, Portland still intends to sign Jeremy Grant to a five-year, $160 million contract, subject to The two sides reached an agreement on Friday, sources told ESPN.

Should Lillard leave, it would be after a run in which he made seven All-Star and All-NBA teams and led Portland to the Western Conference Finals in 2018-19. He ranks first in Blazers history in both points and 3-pointers and ranks second in assists.

Lillard, who will turn 33 on July 15, averaged career highs of 32.2 points and 7.3 assists last season, but played in only 58 games due to being ruled out last month. The highlight of Lillard’s season came on February 26 against the Houston Rockets when he exploded for 71 points.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, his points per game would be the most by a player who switched teams the following season.

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