Jason Quick and Shams Charania of The Athletic indicated that the Trail Blazers’ decision to hire a new head coach paired with the team’s struggles to advance deep into the postseason are the reasons why Lillard’s situation is being closely followed.
“Sources say several NBA teams — including those in the top markets — are already intensely monitoring this situation in Portland and how it develops to look for an opening to make trade offers,” wrote Quick and Charania.
Lillard delivered a double-double performance in Thursday night’s Game 6 playoff game against the Denver Nuggets, but a fourth-quarter collapse ended the Trail Blazers’ season.
Then, on Friday, the Trail Blazers and former head coach Terry Stotts decided to part ways, a move that had been rumored for months.
Lillard turns 31 next month and would no doubt like to be part of a championship team before his memorable career comes to an end. However, whether a possible trade evolves will depend on a number of concerns.
Those potential trade talks primarily involve who the Trail Blazers hire as their new head coach and how much value other teams are willing to give up to acquire the six-time All-Star.
Lillard’s cryptic social media post in the aftermath of Thursday’s loss raised some questions about his future with the team. However, until any serious discussions get past the rumor stage, the expectation is that he’ll return to the Trail Blazers next season