The Blazers could use some good news as they come to grips with the fact that LaMarcus Aldridge really might not be coming back, and wouldn’t you know it, some good news might be right around the corner:
Damian Lillard was in a similar contract situation to Anthony Davis, the only other player from the 2012 Draft to have made an all-star team. Both had one year left on their four-year rookie contracts, during which they met certain incentives that allowed their team to offer larger contracts. Hours after Davis reportedly signed a five-year, $145 million deal, Lillard reportedly signed his own, which is deservedly a little smaller than AD’s. After all, only one of them will be in contention for best player alive status within the next half decade.
Lillard’s extension will kick in for the 2016-17 season, at which point it will likely be more of a value that gives Portland flexibility in acquiring another high-priced asset. While it doesn’t preclude them from signing Aldridge this offseason, Dame’s going to have bigger numbers on it than LMA’s due Aldridge’s contract starting this coming season. That might ruffle a player’s feathers, and LMA has been rumored to be displeased with the adulation Dame has gotten in the Pacific Northwest.
Regardless, with Aldridge’s future up in the air, the Blazers were completely justified in throwing all the money at Lillard to make sure at least ONE of their two superstars will be around for a while.
(Via Marc Stein)