He reportedly wants to give new Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups a “genuine shot.”
“But that deal isn’t happening for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that Lillard — for now — has backed off quite a bit when it comes to his desire to be elsewhere,” wrote Sam Amick of The Athletic. “As our esteemed Blazers beat writer, Jason Quick, wrote recently, Lillard is focused on ‘going out on his shield’ and trying yet again to take the Blazers to that elusive next level. His stance could certainly change if the Blazers get off to a bad start, but sources say Lillard wants to see how this early season goes while giving first-year coach Chauncey Billups a genuine shot at success along the way.”
Lillard recently explained that the Milwaukee Bucks’ run to the 2021 NBA title gave him some added motivation to stay in Portland. The six-time All-Star said that the Bucks’ title convinced him that teams can go on improbable runs to the NBA Finals.
Lillard has spent nine seasons with the Trail Blazers since being drafted by the organization in 2012, and he has not yet experienced the NBA Finals.
For many players, winning a title is the ultimate goal. As one of the best guards in the league, Lillard is certainly a championship-caliber player, but he often doesn’t get a lot of help in Portland.
The 31-year-old carries a big load for the Blazers, and that will likely remain the case in the upcoming season. Time will tell if he will be satisfied with his situation in the 2021-22 campaign.