Damian Lillard denies trade request rumor but sounds ready to leave Blazers

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Damian Lillard made sure to shoot down any rumors of requesting a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, but it sounds like he wants the team to be more urgent.

Immediately after the Portland Trail Blazers were bounced from the playoffs, the attention shifted to Damian Lillard‘s future with the team. He’s been with the Blazers for nine seasons but has yet to reach the NBA Finals. Very few players have been as loyal to their team as Lillard, choosing to win wtih the team that drafted him rather than forming super-teams to win. That formula hasn’t proven to be successful given his and the Blazers’ playoff history.

On Friday, rumors began swirling that the star point guard was planning to request a trade from the team in the coming days. It didn’t take long for Lillard to silence those rumors, and he even said he expects to be in a Blazers uniform next season.

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Damian Lillard denies trade request rumors but wants urgency from Blazers

The NBA world started speculating where Damian Lillard could end up as soon as the rumors of his impending trade request became public. However, it doesn’t look like that request will come to fruition … or at least not any time soon. Lillard denied the reports that he requested a trade, and says he still has to think about his future.

“I woke up to those reports, a lot of people reaching out to me, Lillard said, per Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin. “But it’s not true. I’ll start off the rip and say it’s not true. A lot of things are being said. It hasn’t come from me. I haven’t made any firm decision on what my future will be.”

On top of denying the trade request rumors, when asked if he expects to be in a Portland uniform for the upcoming 2021-22 season, Lillard responded with, “Yes, I expect to be.”

Although he shot down the rumors and expects to stay with the Blazers, Lillard made sure to also address what Portland must do to win. He realizes that the team isn’t a title-contending unit and some moves need to be made quickly so he and the Blazers can get to that point.

“The best way to put it is to be more urgent,” Lillard said. “We’ve reached the point where it’s not enough…do we actually want to win it all?”

The Blazers should feel relieved that Damian Lillard got in front of these rumors and shot them down, but they shouldn’t feel comfortable. Their point guard has essentially challenged them to be more urgent and make moves that make this roster ready for a championship, or it won’t be long before a trade demand does emerge. Lillard seems to be staying put in Portland for now, but the front office better get moving, because who knows how much more patience he has left.