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#pounditTuesday, April 16, 2024

Blazers could make tough Damian Lillard decision?

Damian Lillard in a Blazers jersey

Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The writing may be on the wall for Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers this season.

NBA insider Chris Haynes said on this week’s episode of the “#thisleague UNCUT!” podcast that the Blazers may be close to shutting down the seven-time All-Star guard Lillard for the season.

“Dame probably has five or six more games left before Portland probably shuts him down for the season,” said Haynes, per RealGM. “There’s no use playing the duration of these games. So look out for that. If these next five, six games, they keep struggling, I will suspect… at that point, it’s probably not worth it.

“That’s why I’m saying these next five, six games, we’ll see if they can make some ground,” Haynes added about the Blazers. “If they don’t make any ground, I think that’s what’s going to happen. If the results are not that good.”

Haynes is known to be well-connected with Lillard and the Blazers, often times serving as their direct channel of communication. That means that Haynes’ word carries some weight here.

The 32-year-old Lillard is currently nursing a right calf injury that has kept him on the injury report for much of this month. With just 13 games left in their regular season, the Blazers are 31-38 (which has them 2.5 games back of a play-in tournament spot).

Lillard recently signed a huge extension with the Blazers to keep him under contract with them through at least 2026. But this is shaping up to be the second straight year that Portland will miss a 20-team postseason (after going out in the first round during the two years before that). That might inevitably fire up another round of offseason rumors as to whether or not the still-ringless Lillard will request a trade from the Blazers.


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