Damian Lillard Should Leave Portland
Damian Lillard Against the Denver Nuggets
San Francisco / June 4, 2021
Damian Lillard put up a superhuman performance in Game 5 against the Denver Nuggets. Lillard scored 55 points and a playoff-record 12 3-pointers. The Portland Trail Blazers still lost that game and the series 4-2.
Damian "Dame" Lillard is one of the top players in the NBA. The Blazers' senior strategists cannot surround Dame with top end players. They keep getting eliminated in Round 1 of the playoffs. Earlier today, the Blazers and coach Terry Stotts agreed to part ways. Stotts is a first-rate coach. Even if the Blazers hire a "better" coach, the core problem is still the skill level of the supporting cast.
Lillard is 30 and signed a four-year extension in 2019, keeping him under contract through the 2024-25 season. I encourage Lillard to push for a trade. He should go to a larger market, like Los Angeles or New York. His game will evolve if he plays with a higher skill team. This will be better for the casual NBA fan.
We live in a player and agent-driven era where top players can use a variety of strategies to get traded. It will not be the most pleasant journey, but Lillard should move on. He will not get past Round 1 or 2 of the playoffs in Portland. I respect small market teams. They are always fighting an uphill battle. But Lillard's prime years are limited. This team will keep hitting a ceiling in the early rounds of the playoffs. I want Lillard to move to the Los Angeles Lakers. That would be fun to watch.