The relationship between Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers is more frayed now than it has been at any point since he was drafted in 2012. He has expressed disappointment at the organization’s underwhelming free agency run and the inept way the front office handled its head coaching search.
Because Lillard has shown so much dissatisfaction with the Blazers over the past few months, a number of trade rumors have bubbled up.
One of those suitors? The Golden State Warriors.
At the moment it doesn’t look like a deal between these two organizations is close to being reached. Still, being a Bay Area guy and growing up in Oakland, playing the Warriors takes on a special meaning for Lillard.
“It’s a special connection,” he told Christopher Kamrani of The Athletic recently. “It means a lot to me because it’s similar to when I go home to Oakland and I play against the Golden State Warriors. When they call my name in the starting lineups, the crowd shows me a lot of love and it’s the same when we play against the (Utah) Jazz. They say ‘from Weber State’ and everybody just kind of goes crazy out of love.
“It’s a great level of appreciation on my side because these are the people that had this type of appreciation for me before the rest of the world even knew who I was. I never lose sight of that. I never take that for granted.”
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 10, 2021
Lillard has made it no secret in recent years that he keeps a close on eye on the Warriors. When Stephen Curry was struggling, he was the first to point it out. That said, a pathway to a deal that lands Lillard in The Bay simply doesn’t exist at the moment.
If that changes, though – expect the Warriors’ front office to be very aggressive in trying to bring the six-time All-Star home.