Damian Lillard Denies Blazers Trade Rumors: 'That S--t Is Not Accurate'

Adam WellsDecember 8, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) brings the ball up court in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Amid the ongoing chatter about the future of the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard is doing his best to set the record straight about where things stand with him. 

Speaking to Jason Dumas of KRON 4 News in San Francisco (starts at 1:14 mark), Lillard said "that s--t is not accurate" when asked about trade rumors and he wants to remain with the Blazers. 

Jason Dumas @JDumasReports

Dame remains adamant that he doesn't want to be traded from Portland and wants to be the part of the solution and winning. (2/2) <a href="https://t.co/jtzFQoREAA">pic.twitter.com/jtzFQoREAA</a>

The first significant change for the Blazers came last week when general manager Neil Olshey was fired following an independent investigation into allegations he created a toxic work environment. 

With the team still in the early stages of trying to find a new GM, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that Lillard wants a two-year, $107 million extension that would run through the 2026-27 season. 

According to Wojnarowski, potential candidates for the general manager job would prefer Blazers ownership gave them approval to pursue trades involving Lillard:

"Among several top-level GM candidates who fit the profile of Portland's applicant pool, there's no enthusiasm to grant Lillard his massive extension contract through the 2026-27 season. In fact, several executives told ESPN they would be far more interested in the Blazers job with ownership's blessing to move Lillard sooner than later."

Another potential option for Portland to keep Lillard happy is Ben Simmons. The Athletic's Shams Charania and Sam Amick reported on Monday that Lillard "wants significant changes" to the Blazers' roster and he "would like to play" with the disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers star. 

There is no indication at this point that Lillard is going to ask the Blazers for a trade. He still has two more guaranteed years and $88.1 million remaining on his current contract, plus a $48.8 million player option for 2024-25. 

Portland is currently in 10th place in the Western Conference standings with an 11-14 record. The offense remains strong with the seventh-best rating in the league (110.9), but the defense is the worst in the NBA with a 113.5 rating, per Basketball-Reference.com

Lillard hasn't appeared in a game since Nov. 29 due to an abdominal injury. He could return as early as Sunday after undergoing a cortisone injection procedure last week, per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes

The 31-year-old is averaging 21.5 points, 7.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game in 20 starts this season.