NBA Rumors: Damian Lillard Gaining on Bradley Beal as Star Most Coveted in Trade

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJune 8, 2021

PORTLAND, OREGON - JUNE 03: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers attempts a three point basket against the Denver Nuggets during Round 1, Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center on June 03, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Earlier this week, it was Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal who was considered to be a prominent figure on the NBA trading block this offseason (and he was expecting the noise.)

But now, it's Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard who could find numerous offers coming his way this summer.

Marc Stein of the New York Times said "a frustrated Lillard ... is rapidly gaining on Washington’s Bradley Beal as the star some rival front offices want to believe they have a chance of pilfering." 

Lillard hasn't formally requested a trade out of Portland yet, but he was noncommittal about his future with the franchise less than a week into the offseason. He told The Athletic's Jason Quick that he had "no comments about anything" regarding the status of the Trail Blazers, days after he opened up about his thoughts on Portland's ability to compete. 

"Obviously, where we are isn't good enough to win a championship if it's not good enough to get out of a first-round series with two of their best three or four players not on the floor," he told reporters after Portland dropped its first-round series against the Denver Nuggets, marking the fourth time in five seasons that his team failed to advance past the first round.

It seemed like Lillard was interested in helping Portland set itself up for success, as he told Yahoo Sports that he was endorsing Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd for the head coaching job that opened when the team decided to mutually part ways with Terry Stotts.  

Kidd later told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski he's not putting his name into the search for the job.

According to Jabari Young of CNBC, Lillard is holding out to see what the team does this offseason before making any decisions about his future. 

Lillard is signed through 2025 thanks to a four-year, $196 million contract extension he inked in 2019. He averaged 28.8 points and 7.5 assists through 67 games this season.