Damian Lillard‘s time as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers appears to be coming to an end. According to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Lillard has formally requested a trade from the Blazers, marking the end of a lengthy saga where it was unclear if he’d want to stay with the only team for which he’s played in his professional career.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 1, 2023
The news was confirmed by Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, along with Shams Charania of The Athletic. Charania went on to note that a pair of teams that had been linked to a potential Lillard deal in recent weeks, the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets, will be among his most prominent suitors. Wojnarowski noted that the expectation is the Blazers will do what they can to work with Lillard on a deal.
Breaking: Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has requested a trade out of Portland, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets are among leading suitors for one of the NBA’s 75 Greatest Players ever. pic.twitter.com/nw8OIepAHz
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2023
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2023
Much has been made about Lillard’s interest to compete for a championship, and how that might not gel with a Blazers roster that has a pair of standout young guards in Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe. In addition, Portland decided to use the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft on Scoot Henderson, yet another young guard and not a player who is considered more of a win-now piece.
Lillard previously said he thought he would still be with the Blazers at the start of the 2023-24 NBA season, although this was before Henderson was selected. Right at the start of free agency, Portland agreed to a 5-year, $160 million extension with Jerami Grant.