Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Damian Lillard Quashes Links To Lakers, Says He Loves Portland

Damian Lillard Quashes Links To Lakers, Says He Loves Portland

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has been the subject of trade rumours recently with links to the Los Angeles Lakers circulating last week. First, he expressed his disappointment when former teammate Ed Davis joined the Brooklyn Nets on a one-year deal as a free agent. Combine that with another Tweet and somehow - in the minds of warped Laker fans/sports talk radio hosts looking for a shock - became "Lillard wants to play with LeBron James and the Lakers".

Although he later retweet a pro-Blazers post and mentioned how the media will stretch his response to the tweet about the Lakers, reports started emerging that a move to the Lakers was more than just speculation. Portland has made the playoffs for the past five seasons, but they've also suffered first-round exits in consecutive seasons and have lost 10 consecutive postseason games. Portland loves Lillard and he has carried them for the last few years.

Lillard, 27, is under contract with the Blazers for the next three seasons. He may have teased some fans with his tweet, but he is happy in Portland and is not seeking a trade.

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"I'm not unhappy. I love where I live, I love the organization, I Iove our coaching staff, I love where I am", he said. I'm straight up with Coach, I'm straight up with Neil, I'm straight up with y'all. He's perfectly happy in his current situation with the Trail Blazers. Apparently so, despite their departures which along with Davis, also includes Shabazz Napier and Pat Connaughton. Then they acquired Gary Trent Jr. in a draft-night trade.

"It's going to be a battle", Lillard said. "I feel like we're trying to do that".

"Obviously I was disappointed that Ed wasn't coming back". I think once people come to Portland - a lot of my teammates come and go - they come to Portland and realize it's a much better city than they thought it would be from the outside because they play there, they see it's raining all the time when they come and go and they don't see the summers, they don't see the good days. We lose him - that's a loss for our team. Bazz (Shabazz Napier) played big minutes for us, Pat (Connaughton) played big minutes for us, so we lose three rotation players that gave us a lot, that contributed to our season previous year. He makes everybody around him better as we saw players like Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram improve drastically due to his play.

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