If you haven't been paying attention, there's a storm a-brewin' in Oklahoma City. Clearly, this team is done tanking, but are we underrating how capable this team is? One of the youngest teams in league history that plays hard with an unselfish and fluid brand of basketball. 10th in defensive rating. 14th in offensive rating. With less than a month...
Best Thing Blazers Can Do Is Trade Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard has done more than his fair share for the Trail Blazers franchise. He's their all-time leader in points, three-pointers made, second in assists, and top 5 in a bunch of other categories, along with the countless moments he's given the franchise. And what have they given him in return? Nothing. Outside of the yearly salary, they've provided nothing but a string of undersized backcourt partners who do nothing to help his defensive liability.
If the Trail Blazers want to make it up to Damian Lillard, they should trade him to a contender.
Sporting relationships are strange and exist on a spectrum from the fans, to the players, to the franchise itself. And really, that spectrum is entirely in favor of the franchise. Sure, they pay a hefty salary to their star players, but outside of that, they get to make decisions that benefit their interests. And I am not here to argue that is unfair- I just want to look at cases like this where a superstar player has given so much to a franchise and city for so little in return.
If there is any honor in sports, the Trail Blazers know what they must do here.
Damian Lillard is 32 years old and increasingly more injury prone in his later years. He's got a maximum of maybe three years left near the peak of his powers, yet he's had no opportunity to play for a championship. We're talking about one of the greatest shooters and point guards that have ever played, and in 11 seasons, he has just one conference championship appearance to show for that. Take this season- in the last 20 games leading to the All-Star break, Lillard has scored 30 points or more sixteen times, 40 or more seven times, with a 50-point game and a 60-point game sprinkled on top. He's averaged 37-7-4 in that period, all while shooting 50 percent from the field, yet the team went 9 and 11. Enough is enough.
The Blazers have tried, but CJ McCollum is the best co-star they could get him. And while CJ McCollum was an excellent offensive backcourt partner, two undersized guards don't move the needle defensively in this NBA. The Blazers must step up here and do what Damian Lillard is too kind and loyal to do.
They say if you love something, you have to let it go, and if the Blazers truly love one of their all-time legends who has given 11 incredible years to the franchise, they'll trade Damian Lillard to a championship contender by the start of the next season.
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