NBA

Trail Blazers star Lillard rubbishes trade talk

By Sports Desk December 09, 2021

Damian Lillard insists he is not seeking a trade as he declared "my intentions are to be in Portland and figure it out".

Long-serving Trail Blazers guard Lillard, currently sidelined with an abdominal injury, has become accustomed to frenzied speculation over his future.

ESPN this week reported the six-time NBA All-Star wants a two-year, $107 million extension, while it has also been claimed he wants a move as struggling Portland seek a new general manager after firing Neil Olshey.

Lillard rubbished talk that he wants to leave the franchise where he has spent his entire professional career.

He told reporters: "I'm not asking for a trade. I don't know how many times I have to say it.

"It's gotten to a point in this era that people can write stories and say things and 'I heard this and I heard that' and because of who they are, people take as, like, this is credible, this is probably true.

"Me, on the other hand, I don't feel like I have to defend myself against that and come out and challenge everything that people say until I'm asked about it because I know the truth, you know what I mean? 

"I sit in the office with Chauncey [Head coach Billups] every day, and we're trying to find solutions, and dealing with these people every day when I walk in this practice facility trying to find solutions.

"Why would I be a part of trying to find solutions if I'm planning on an exit, you know what I'm saying? That's not what's going on. 

"But people want that so bad. It's a good story and it's a good thing to talk about that and they know people are going to entertain it so they continue with it, but my intentions are to be in Portland and figure it out.

"That's as far I know all of our intentions, and I also know that people are going to continue to have these same conversations because it's fun to talk about, but that s*** is not accurate."

Lillard has averaged 21.5 points per game this season – his worst record since the 2015-16 campaign – while shooting 39.7 per cent from the floor and just 30.2 per cent from three-point range. They both represent career lows for a season. 

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