Damian Lillard has set tongues wagging among Los Angeles Lakers fans on the back of a recent Instagram post. The Portland Trail Blazers superstar hinted he might want to move on after his side exited the playoffs earlier this year via the same medium.
“How long should I stay dedicated? How long til opportunity meet preparation,” he posted as the caption to a photo of himself several weeks ago. Whether the post is indicative of Lillard’s intention to leave Portland is anyone’s guess, but a photo posted this week seems to point to a preferred landing spot.
The player took to the social media platform to upload a photo of himself at a WNBA game between the Las Vegas Aces and Los Angeles Sparks at the Los Angeles Convention Center last week. “Who should I love? And how often?”…Everybody Always,” the caption to that one reads.
Some Lakers fans are of the view that Lillard is looking to join the 2020 NBA Champions given the purple and gold backdrop. While the photo would have likely been enough on its own, there’s also the fact that Lillard was spotted exchanging pleasantries with LeBron James at the same game.
James is watching the NBA Finals from afar this year, having led the Lakers to a championship in the Orlando bubble last year. The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks are the ones competing for a championship, with Game 1 of the series kicking off on Tuesday night. The Suns headed into the finals as favorites and their prospects look even stronger as they’re up 1-0. To that end, fans could take advantage of a Fanduel Promo Code.
Meanwhile, it’s also being suggested that King James is recruiting Lillard to the Lakers. This is hardly unlike LeBron, who is known for getting other top superstars to join forces with him.
The point guard and rapper has remained loyal to the Blazers and has voiced his desire to stick with the team on multiple occasions over the years. However, given the frustrations of getting booted out of the playoffs year after year, he could be considering a move elsewhere.
Lillard is also understood to be unhappy with the Blazers’ front office. Whether he stays or leaves is something we will just have to wait and see. But it would be in the team’s best interest to trade him should he ask for a change.
Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic recently made claims of being ready to leave Portland if Lillard makes an exit.
“I don’t know what has changed with Lillard in these two days,” he told Klix.ba in an interview. “As far as I know, the man stays there, but if he goes, then I leave Portland as well. My opinion is that it would be stupid to let such a loyal man as Lillard go.
“In the last game of the season, I said that change must happen. In four years, we only had one West final, which is relatively small for a team like Portland. There are people above you to decide who will stay and who to bring, because the NBA is the biggest business there is. … As far as I am concerned, I was told that no one will be traded and that only the coach will change.”
Nurkic has a $12 million non-guaranteed year with the Blazers remaining on his deal. The team will have until August to decide whether they will pick up the team option or pay the player $4 million and allow him to head into free agency.
The team appointed former star guard Chauncey Billups as their head coach last week, signing the erstwhile Detroit Pistons guard to a five-year deal. Lillard has been on the receiving end of criticism from Blazers fans who are unhappy with the hiring. Lillard had named Billups as one of the two candidates he wanted the team to employ after Terry Stotts’ departure in early June.
The displeasure stems from Billups getting accused of rape in 1997. The ex-player, known as Mr. Big Shot during his playing days, settled a civil lawsuit filed against him and former teammate, Ron Mercer, by his accuser in 2000.
Lillard insisted he was not aware of the allegations. “Really?” he said. “I was asked what coaches I like out of the names I ‘heard’ and I named them. Sorry, I wasn’t aware of their history. I didn’t read the news when I was 7/8yrs old.”
It will be an interesting summer for the Portland guard. Going to Los Angeles would make the Lakers instant favorites for next year’s championship. The Miami Heat are also thought to be a likely destination for Lillard. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith recently revealed being told the Heat have made inquiries as it pertains to fashioning a trade for the guard, who is one of the most explosive scorers in NBA history.