Damian Lillard On The Blazers Upcoming Offseason: ‘Obviously Where We Are Now Isn’t Good Enough’

The Portland Trail Blazers season has come to an end after they blew a 14-point lead at home in Game 6 of their series against the Denver Nuggets, as Nikola Jokic took over late and Damian Lillard’s run of heroic efforts finally ran out of gas.

After a second straight first-round exit, and this one without the injury issues they faced in the Bubble a year ago, the expectation is for Portland to look to make some major moves this offseason. They gave this core group from their 2019 trip to the West Finals a chance to run it back and make one more playoff run, but they just weren’t able to provide Damian Lillard with enough support, something many have complained about for some time.

Lillard was asked about what he wants to see Portland do this offseason and whether he believes changes are necessary and he offered an honest response, noting that if the Blazers couldn’t beat a Nuggets team without three of their best guards in Jamal Murray, Will Barton, and PJ Dozier, then they are clearly not good enough to compete for championships and something’s got to change.

It’s a fair assessment from Dame, but will certainly raise some eyebrows. Portland has a lot of decisions to make, starting with Jusuf Nurkic who was the Blazers second best player in the series rather consistently. As for Nurkic’s future, he wasn’t exactly certain about whether he’ll be back, noting he’s not pleased with the situation as it stands right now and that he’ll let Rich Paul take care of handling possible negotiations with the Blazers as he is on a non-guaranteed deal for next season.

It’s obvious that the way this season ended has left a bitter taste in the collective mouths of the Blazers, and there is an expectation that next year will feature a number of new faces — including at head coach, although Terry Stotts shrugged off questions about his future noting he’s got two years left on his deal. Nurkic showed his value to the Blazers in this series, but still could be moved, and it feels like Portland’s front office will pretty much listen to overtures from other teams for anyone not named Lillard. We’re a few months away from reaching the point where the Blazers can act on a rebuilding plan, but that won’t stop speculation from swirling about what moves the Blazers will make because as Dame noted, some change is going to be necessary.