Boasting an 11-13 record, Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers are off to a disastrous start to the 2021-22 NBA season.
It’s so bad that Portland’s brass finally made the long-awaited decision to fire embattled general manager Neil Olshey. This has led to speculation that the team might be looking to change things up behind Dame, who is currently sidelined to injury.
Pretty active on social media, Lillard added a bit of fuel to those rumors by liking a post suggesting that he wants to play with Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.
There’s a lot of ways we could construe this. First off, rumors this past off-season concluded that Philadelphia front office head Daryl Morey was holding out hope to pull off a trade for Damian Lillard.
Said rumors were taken to a whole new level when other reports suggested Dame wanted out of the Pacific Northwest. While they’ve since died down, the Simmons’ situation remains unsettled.
Secondly, Portland was previously in talks with Philadelphia about potentially landing Simmons to team up with Lillard in Oregon. Unfortunately, the 76ers didn’t view a package surrounding C.J. McCollum as being enough to move off Lillard.
Related: Updated NBA trade rumors
Interpreting what Damian Lillard is thinking
Dame has made it more than clear that he’s not close to anyone in the media. Unless you hear something directly from him, it’s safe to assume any information coming out is nothing more than conjecture. In fact, he’s added another layer to that recently on social media.
What we do know is that the status quo currently isn’t working in Portland. The team sits as the 10th seed in the Western Conference and has lost four of five. With Lillard sidelined the past two games, Portland has been outscored by a combined margin of 59 points against the Spurs and Celtics. That’s a whole bunch of ouch.
All of this comes on the heels of four consecutive first-round exits in the NBA Playoffs and with a new interim general manager in that of Joe Cronin calling the shots.
The question now becomes whether Damian Lillard is willing to give Portland yet another shot to build a championship-caliber roster around him. Apparently, acquiring Ben Simmons would help in this regard.