The latest to come out of the ongoing Portland Trail Blazers drama involves All-Star Damian Lillard, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, and former general manager Neil Olshey. Lillard responded to the report on his Twitter and compared Woj and Olshey to some interesting personalities.
Dame vs Woj, Olshey
According to Woj, Dame is looking for a multi-million deal that could affect how the process of choosing the next GM will occur. As Basketball News elaborated, several GM candidates made it clear they don’t want to join the Blazers if giving Dame the extension is a condition for the job. The report also added Lillard is selling the idea of trading some of his teammates so that Portland can focus on him.
“Now, Lillard’s group is privately selling the idea of trading his veteran teammates with value and rebuilding around him — on that extension.”
The article, penned by Wojnarowski, naturally did not sit well with the 6-time All-Star. It paints Dame as someone who demands something that could influence front office decisions and wants to blow the roster up to accommodate his wishes.
Comparing Woj and Olshey to former U.S. president Trump and Mike Pence takes it to another level. But is there some truth in it? Woj has been in the business for a long time. This is not some rookie mistake or a clickbait article. The long-time NBA insider has to have reliable sources to come up with sensitive details. He would not risk his reputation if the report was not grounded on some reliable information.
Why the article does not make sense
If Dame wants a 2-year, $107 million deal, then Portland Trail Blazers or any GM should do it. The guy chose to stay loyal rather than chase rings with other teams. Lillard deserved to be paid as one of the catalysts of turning the franchise’s fortunes around. Does it make sense to pay him that much? He will be 36 once the extension if granted, ends. His production this season dipped because the team overhauled their system and brought in newbie head coach Chauncey Billups.
It does not make sense that Lillard is trying to trade away some of his teammates, especially CJ McCollum, whose name has been involved in a swap with Ben Simmons. If Dame wants to win now, blowing up the team is not the best option. However, making Portland instant contenders will not be easy. They have limited assets, and the team has underperformed so far this season.
The ongoing drama is something new for the fans and Dame, who is known to be a good and loyal soldier. Circumstances have been different, and players and the front office have changed their minds. Breaking the team up might not be a popular decision, but it could be the next sensible step for the franchise with the way things are going.