Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard recently offered a brutally honest assessment of the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason.
Ahead of Monday’s showdown between the Blazers and Lakers, Lillard spoke with Dave McMenamin of ESPN regarding what it feels like to take on a group as solid as LA.
“Across the league, I think they had the best offseason,” Lillard said.
“As always, they’re going to be a tough game, but not a game that we can’t win”
Dame Lillard on the Lakers: “Across the league, I think they had the best offseason … As always, they’re going to be a tough game, but not a game that we can’t win”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 28, 2020
The Lakers’ offseason saw them replace Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee with Montrezl Harrel and Marc Gasol.
The team also traded away Danny Green and their first round pick in this year’s draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Dennis Schroder.
All those moves, coupled with the decisions to re-sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Markeiff Morris, while simultaneously extending LeBron James and Anthony Davis, have led to many suggesting that the defending champions actually look better this year than they did last.
Clearly Lillard is of that mind.
Interestingly enough, the Blazers also had something of a busy offseason this year. In an effort to capitalize on their NBA Bubble success, the organization went out and acquired Robert Covington and Enes Kanter via trade.
On top of that, the Blazers brought back Rodney Hood and Carmelo Anthony, while also signing Derrick Jones Jr. to a two-year, $19 million deal.
This is going to be an interesting season for both teams involved in tonight’s showdown.
Eagle-eyed fans noticed something about Jamal Adams’ cigar. https://t.co/m7LCBQZfhT
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 28, 2020
For the Lakers, this year will be an opportunity to prove that their 17th title in franchise history wasn’t just some NBA Bubble-inspired aberration.
The Blazers, meanwhile, can take this opening to justify the high regard everyone had for them to close out last season.
2020-21 promises to be a very fun season.
Related: Draymond Green Gets Very Honest About Warriors Struggles