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Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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What’s Next for Damian Lillard

CarolMunro, Creative Commons
The Portland Trailblazers played against the Brooklyn Nets on March 27th, 2013. The Nets ended up winning 93-111 where Lillard scored 15 points, 4 rebounds and 5 turnovers.

“I think it would have to come down to my team (Portland) saying look ,we’re going in a different direction, and we don’t want to hold you hostage,” Damian Lillard, NBA player said to Heather Yako.

Lillard explained why he’s so loyal in an interview with JJ Redick, “I think it’s like the route in my upbringing. Anything other than loyalty ain’t worth it.”

During that same interview, Lillard also talked about big schools were trying to get him to transfer and his dad told him, “if any agents call you while you in school, give them my number.”

On Feb. 8, Portland traded CJ McCollum (via Adrian Wojnarowski), who is a 20 point per game scorer (via Basketball-Reference) and played with Lillard for nine years.

What makes this trade confusing is that marquee free agents usually don’t sign with the Trailblazers. Portland isn’t a huge city and isn’t a championship-contending team.

Even though Portland traded for a decent role player in an injured Joe Ingles (has a torn ACL), it’s a head-scratcher why the Trailblazers traded McCollum.

Casey Holdahl interviewed Lillard about the recent trade, “We both knew that it’s going to come to a point where we might not be a backcourt anymore.”

Lillard also mentioned to Holdahl, “We had those same conversations leading up to the trade, so it wasn’t like it was a surprise or it was something we didn’t discuss.”

The Trailblazers star told Holdahl about how they (Lillard and McCollum) talked about the possibility of a trade years ago.

The main question is, what’s next for Damian Lillard and the Blazers? Over the past couple of years, there have been plenty of rumors of a possible Lillard trade to the Lakers (amongst other teams).

In 2019, Lillard signed a super-max contract of four years, $196 million (reported by Shams) and even though he signed this contract, the Blazers can still trade Lillard.

The recent Blazer trades put into question what their goal is by trading their second-best scorer in McCollum and trading for an injured Ingles.

The Blazers traded Robert Covington and Norman Powell, who were great role players for the team. They received Eric Bledsoe; Justice Winslow; Keon Johnson and Detriot’s 2025 second-round pick (reported by NBA.com).

The only explanation for those trades is what SI mentioned, “their future (Portland’s) seems mostly tied to financial flexibility.”

After the trade deadline ended, it gave more questions than answers on what the Trailblazers are planning to do with Lillard.

The Blazers can trade Lillard and start all over again or build around Lillard, which it looks like they’re focusing on the latter option.

They’re planning for the future, by getting draft picks, but how long can Lillard play for at peak condition? When will Lillard finally say enough is enough and request for a trade?

Plenty of NBA fans, including some I’ve heard in a restaurant, question the McCollum trade and bring up that Portland is not a city like Los Angeles.

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About the Contributor
Samuel Chacko
Samuel Chacko, Editor in Chief
Samuel Chacko is the Editor-in-Chief for Talon marks covering sports, politics, news and opinion. Sam enjoys playing video games, watching sports and music. Samuel is hoping to transfer to Cal State Long Beach in 2023 and work for a prestigious Journalism outlet one day. Contact [email protected] to meet with him and for news tips.
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What’s Next for Damian Lillard