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#pounditFriday, June 14, 2024

Blazers GM sends clear message regarding Damian Lillard trade

Damian Lillard warms up before a game

Mar 19, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) participates in warmups before playing LA Clippers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin sent a clear message about a potential Damian Lillard trade when speaking to the media Monday.

Cronin said he and Lillard have not spoken since the star guard made his trade demand on July 1. However, the GM made clear that he will not be rushed into a trade. He also sent a clear hint to Lillard by saying that it is very difficult to make a satisfactory trade when there is only one preferred destination on the part of the player.

“We’re going to be patient. We’re going to do what’s best for our team. We’re going to see how this lands. And if it takes months, it takes months,” Cronin said.

In other words, Lillard might want to get comfortable, because this might take a while. The Blazers are determined to make sure any Lillard trade benefits them, and they are not going to take an underwhelming deal just because it is being offered by the team Lillard wants to go to. The discussion of a preferred destination certainly seems like a message to Lillard that if he really wants a trade as soon as possible, he might have to consider destinations outside of the Miami Heat.

There is a very real possibility that this develops into a standoff between Lillard and the Blazers. Portland is maintaining a high asking price and is inviting interest from around the league. Lillard’s camp, on the other hand, is warning every team that is not the Heat that they would be taking quite the risk if they traded for him. For this to be resolved, one side might have to blink.

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