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. 

Related items

  • Holmgren hype builds after record-breaking debut for OKC in NBA summer league Holmgren hype builds after record-breaking debut for OKC in NBA summer league

    Chet Holmgren has lived up to the hype in his professional debut in the NBA summer league with a record-breaking performance.

    Holmgren, who was taken by the Oklahoma City Thunder at second behind Paolo Banchero in the NBA Draft a fortnight ago, scored 23 points with seven rebounds and four assists in a 98-77 win over the Utah Jazz.

    The Gonzaga center impressed with a history-making record for blocks and three-pointers in a game, becoming the first player in summer league history to record at least five blocks and hit four three-pointers.

    Holmgren finished with six blocks and shot four-of-six from beyond the arc in 24 minutes.

    "Shout out to my teammates for setting me up, talking to me, just putting me in position to be successful," Holmgren told ESPN after the game.

    Holmgren's Australian teammate Josh Giddey, who was a Rookie of the Year contender last season after going at pick six, praised the seven-footer who is generating plenty of hype.

    "The hype that he came in with, the way he played tonight was big for us," Giddey said.

    "Being a high pick like that, there's a lot of pressure coming in, and he handled it as good as he could have.

    "It makes my job easy playing with someone like him. He can stretch the floor, finish at the rim. He protects me, he's got my back on the defensive end. So love playing with him.

    "It's been one game, and the chemistry's only getting stronger."

  • Memphis Grizzlies set salary record for second-rounder Kennedy Chandler Memphis Grizzlies set salary record for second-rounder Kennedy Chandler

    The Memphis Grizzlies and rookie Kennedy Chandler have agreed to a four-year, $7.1million contract with $4.94m in guarantees, The Athletic reported Tuesday.

    Chandler’s deal contains the most guaranteed money ever given to an American-born second-round rookie.

    The Grizzlies selected Chandler 38th overall in last month’s NBA Draft, with a pick that originally belonged to the San Antonio Spurs.

    A guard out of Tennessee, Chandler averaged 13.9 points and 4.7 assists as a freshman while helping the Volunteers to a SEC Tournament championship and third seed in the NCAA Tournament.

    "Kennedy was very high on our board going into the night, someone we felt very strongly about," Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman said.

    "[Chandler] easily could have been a first-round pick of ours...absolutely shocked that Kennedy was there given how we felt about him.

    "So we were very excited to extend that one beyond the amount of picks we had coming into the night because we felt really strongly about adding Kennedy to this group."

    Kleiman was busy on draft night, orchestrating two other trades. The Grizzlies sent De’Anthony Melton to the Philadelphia 76ers for veteran swingman Danny Green and the No. 23 overall pick, David Roddy.

    Memphis also sent picks 22 and 29, Walker Kessler and TyTy Washington, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 19th pick, Jake LaRavia.

  • Jody Allen says Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers are not for sale at this time Jody Allen says Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers are not for sale at this time

    The chairwoman of both the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, Jody Allen, said in a statement on Tuesday that the teams are not for sale at this time. 

    There had been reports that an offer was made to buy the Trail Blazers, but Allen's statement dispels any rumours a sale is imminent. 

    ''As chair of both the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Seahawks, my long-term focus is building championship teams that our communities are proud of,'' said Allen, who has overseen both teams since her brother Paul died in 2018.

    ''Like my brother Paul, I trust and expect our leaders and coaches to build winning teams that deliver results on and off the court and field. As we've stated before, neither of the teams is for sale and there are no sales discussions happening.'' 

    Paul Allen's will called for both teams to be sold and the proceeds be given to philanthropic efforts, and Jody acknowledged she plans to honour his wishes, though not at this time.

    ''A time will come when that changes given Paul's plans to dedicate the vast majority of his wealth to philanthropy, but estates of this size and complexity can take 10 to 20 years to wind down. There is no pre-ordained timeline by which the teams must be sold,'' Jody said. 

    Paul Allen purchased the Trail Blazers in 1988 and bought the Seahawks nine years later. Jody Allen has been the trustee for her brother’s estate since the Microsoft co-founder's death.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.