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Damian Lillard Trade Rumors: Blazers 'Focused' on Building Around PG Amid 76ers Buzz

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2021

PORTLAND, OR - JUNE 3: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on June 3, 2021 at the Moda Center Arena 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers reportedly don't plan to trade Damian Lillard despite interest from the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

"The Trail Blazers have fully focused on continuing to build around Lillard," Charania reported.

The 76ers are reportedly willing to trade Ben Simmons, but they are seeking a star in return who could help them stay in contention. Charania noted Philadelphia has discussed deals with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors among others, but it has its "eyes set" on Lillard.

Lillard has spent his entire nine-year NBA career in Portland and is signed through 2024-25, but there has been plenty of speculation about his future this offseason.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported in June that Lillard might request a trade after the backlash he received over Portland's hiring of new head coach Chauncey Billups, plus the team's inability to build a contender around him.

Henry Abbott of TrueHoop reported Lillard would be willing to take a pay cut to leave Portland, although the guard denied those rumors on Twitter:

Damian Lillard @Dame_Lillard

🤦🏾‍♂️ <a href="https://t.co/no4w5fWbaz">https://t.co/no4w5fWbaz</a>

Damian Lillard @Dame_Lillard

And you KNOW that ain’t true lol… it’s gettin outta hand bruv <a href="https://t.co/am5tmkIeDW">https://t.co/am5tmkIeDW</a>

"A lot of things are being said and it hasn't come from me," Lillard said of various trade rumors in July.

The six-time All-Star could seek greener pastures if he is looking to move to a contender. Portland has lost in the first round in four of the last five years and didn't do much to improve its chances this offseason.

The organization doesn't want to entertain trades at the moment, but Charania noted Lillard will continue to "evaluate the Trail Blazers’ present and future" ahead of the season.   

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