Damian Lillard on Supermax Contract Extension: 'We've Built Something Special'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2019

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard looks on during a foul shot in the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets Sunday, May 12, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/John Leyba)
John Leyba/Associated Press

The Portland Trail Blazers officially signed superstar point guard Damian Lillard to a four-year, $196 supermax contract extension on Saturday, according to Sean Meagher of the Oregonian

"I think we've built something special," Lillard said during a press conference in Las Vegas. "It's real genuine. The environment we've created is something I've been a part of and something I want to continue to be a part of."

"Our culture is driven by a lot of people but it wouldn't mean anything if Dame wasn't a part of it," head coach Terry Stotts added.

The contract will kick in for the 2021-22 season. Lillard is set to make $29.8 million next year and $31.6 million in the 2020-21 season, the final year of the five-year, $139.8 million deal he signed in 2016.

Per ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the final year of the extension is a $54.3 million player option. 

There was never much doubt that the Blazers and Lillard would come to an agreement on a supermax extension. He made it pretty clear that such an extension would interest him in late May.

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And it's hard to imagine the Blazers ever wanting to cut ties with Lillard. The star point guard averaged 25.8 points, 6.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game, shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from three. He's a four-time All-Star and has emerged as one of the elite point guards in basketball.

The 28-year-old also helped lead the Blazers to the Western Conference Finals and provided one of the most memorable moments of the season with his series-clinching three vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder in the opening round. 

Despite getting swept by the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, Lillard took great pride in his team's 2018-19 season, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

"Look at what we did this year. We played without our starting center [Jusuf Nurkic, who suffered a season-ending leg injury]. We played without CJ [McCollum] toward the end of the season. So, looking at that, we were still able to get here. We were one step away [from the Finals]. And not only here, we had double-digit leads in three of the four games. I think getting here is reassuring that we can get the job done."

Now, Lillard will run it back at least six more times after his massive new contract extension.

It seems a safe bet at this point that the Weber State product will be a Blazer for the entirety of his career. Given what he's meant to the organization and city, and what they've meant to him, that only seems appropriate.