Damian Lillard growing upset with Trail Blazers, wants to play with Ben Simmons
Things seem to be getting worse between the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard. Recently, Portland fired long-time GM Neil Olshey amidst an investigation and an incredibly disappointing season. Between Olshey’s moves and the coaching of Chauncey Billups, Lillard has grown increasingly frustrated with the franchise’s moves.
While 76ers fans are hoping to acquire Lillard in a deal involving Ben Simmons, Dame wants Simmons to join him in Portland instead of leaving town. According to Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic, no demand or move seems imminent quite yet.
“Lillard intends to give the Trail Blazers organization time to find its next leader of basketball operations. But beyond the front office component, the face of the franchise still wants significant changes to the roster. Multiple sources have told The Athletic that Lillard would like to play with Philadelphia 76ers three-time All-Star Ben Simmons. The Trail Blazers’ league-worst defense would instantly improve, and sharing a backcourt with a non-shooter could work given Lillard’s high-volume usage.”
Portland wanting to pair Simmons with Damian Lillard has been known for some time, but Daryl Morey will not let the All-Star walk for pennies. According to the article, Olshey offered CJ McCollum, a first-round draft pick and a young player like Nassir Little or Anfernee Simons, but Morey wasn’t interested. Instead, he asked for McCollum, and several draft picks, which was declined.
Recently, Damian Lillard praised Ben Simmons in a Reddit interview, calling him one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. As of now, no move is known, and it’s unclear what Portland’s next step will be. There’s the possibility that whoever is in charge next will meet Morey’s demands or wants to start over with a rebuild.
Mandatory Credit: NBC Sports