Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
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Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard refuted a report that claimed he’s unhappy with the franchise and wants to be traded.
Watching the team’s Summer League squad in Las Vegas, Lillard told Blazers writer Joe Freeman he loves the Portland organization and is happy where he is.
“I’m not unhappy,” Lillard said. “I love where I live. I love the organization. I love our coaching staff. I love where I am.”
The Blazers were swept easily by the New Orleans Pelicans in the first-round of the playoffs and it was a struggle for Lillard.
Lillard, who had a stellar regular season in which he scored 26.9 points per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from 3-point range, was shut down by Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday during the four-game sweep.
Holiday used his size and strength to make things difficult for Lillard.
Lillard averaged just 18.5 points versus the Pelicans and shot 35.2 percent overall and 30.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Multiple reports claimed Lillard was eyeing a move to either the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks this summer, but based off Lillard’s comments, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Many around the league believe the Blazers need to shake up the roster and either trade Lillard or his backcourt mate, C.J. McCollum. There’s no doubt both are prolific scorers, but the team has not advanced far in the playoffs with Lillard and McCollum as the main cogs and they tend to be defensive liabilities.
Lillard, however, doesn’t agree with the narrative that he and McCollum need to be split up.
“I don’t agree with it,” Lillard said during his exit interviews. “I think it’s that simple. I think it’s the easiest thing to say. I don’t agree with it, though. I’m not the guy making decisions. It’s a great organization. I think everyone has done a great job. Coach [Terry] Stotts has done a great job since Day 1. We’ve been in the playoffs five years straight.”