Report: Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers Nearing 2-Year, $122M Max Contract Extension

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 8, 2022

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The Portland Trail Blazers and point guard Damian Lillard are reportedly close to coming to terms on a two-year max contract extension.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the extension will keep Lillard under contract through the 2026-27 season. ESPN's Bobby Marks reported that the extension is worth $122 million.

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

Here is the Lillard contract breakdown:<br><br>Current contract<br><br>22-23: $42.5M<br>23-24: $45.6M<br>24-25: $48.8M<br><br>Extension*<br><br>25-26: $58.5M<br>26-27: $63.3M (P)<br><br>The extension numbers could be adjusted based on the salary cap in 2025-26. It cannot exceed 35% of the cap for that season.

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

Lillard is the tied for third as the longest tenured NBA player to remain with the team that he was drafted by, joining Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. His career on court earnings is now $436 million. That ranks only behind Kevin Durant, Curry and Beal.

Lillard has spent his entire career with the Blazers since the organization selected him out of Weber State with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

The six-time All-Star has averaged 24.6 points, 6.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 threes in 711 appearances across 10 seasons in Portland. He's shot 43.7 percent from the field, including 37.3 percent from beyond the arc.

He's been the focus of trade rumors at times over the past few years, but he reaffirmed his commitment to the Blazers in April.

"I have no plans of not being a Portland Trail Blazer," Lillard told CNBC's Jabari Young. "I want to be here, and I think they want me here."

The 31-year-old California native is a six-time All-NBA selection, including selection to the First Team following the 2017-18 campaign. He added a gold medal to his list of accolades as part of Team USA at the 2021 Summer Olympics

Now, with an extension in place to keep him in Portland for the foreseeable future, the question is whether the team's front office can build a championship-level roster around him.

It appeared the Blazers were trending toward title contention when they reached the 2019 Western Conference Finals, but they've failed to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs since that point. They missed the playoffs last season.

A series of roster changes have occurred, highlighted by the departure of CJ McCollum, Lillard's longtime backcourt running mate, in a February trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Dealing Lillard would have indicated the start of a full-scale rebuild, but instead, the Blazers have doubled down on their commitment to one of the league's top point guards.

Now work must be done on the rest of the roster if a return to title contention is in the cards.


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