The topic of Damian Lillard’s future with the Portland Trail Blazers has been a source of intense debate and scrutiny over the past year.
Lillard is widely regarded as one of the league’s best players. And many view him struggling to gain traction on a talent-lacking Blazers squad as a waste of his prime years.
Inevitably, trade rumors have intensified. And one of the teams that many have repeatedly linked Lillard to is the Los Angeles Lakers.
So how close did Lillard come to joining the Lakers?
In a recent conversation with The Ringer, Lillard answered that very question.
“Lillard was seated across from James and Anthony Davis, who needed help in their quest for another title,” the report read.
“That evening, they indulged in expensive wine and Italian cuisine and discussed their plans for the future. ‘We just chopped it up just about the possibilities,’ Lillard said.
“‘What’s going on with you?’ Lillard said James asked him.
“‘And I was like, ‘I really don’t know what we’re doing,’ Lillard said. ‘It was just a conversation like that.’”
In the end, though – Lillard never seriously entertained the prospect of joining the Lakers.
“I wasn’t even looking at it like a recruiting process,” he said.
“The whole time I was like, ‘I play for the Blazers.’ My only point is, let’s give ourselves a chance. I wasn’t sending no shots or sending no threats. I’m just honest. When I get asked a question, I answer the question. Because these questions had never been asked.”
This will be an interesting year for Lillard. He came back to the Blazers after a summer of working hard looking like the Incredible Hulk.
Clearly he is ready to compete for a championship. It unclear whether the rest of his squad is up for it, though.
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 13, 2022
If the Blazers get off to a strong start, all past issues will be water under the bridge. All parties will just move forward as though nothing happened.
Should Portland struggle, though – don’t be shocked it the trade talks rear their ugly head again.
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