One of the real good young basketball players around the NBA was taken care of by his team on Thursday. The Portland Trail Blazers, amid the likelihood of losing LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency, have signed star guard Damian Lillard to a five-year extension worth as much as $129 million.
Damian Lillard’s maximum contract extension with Portland is expected to be between $125 million and $129 million, source told Yahoo Sports.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) July 2, 2015
Probably one of the feel-good stories around the NBA this summer, Lillard’s story of success isn’t well known. Growing up in Oakland, the smallish guard had to take a scholarship at Weber State in Utah after failing to be recruited by any of the top-notch colleges in the nation. He turned that into a stellar college career that culminated in him being selected No. 6 overall by the Blazers back in 2012.
All Lillard has done in three seasons is earn two All-Star appearances and help the Blazers into contention in the ultra competitive Western Conference. This past season saw the soon-to-be 25-year-old guard average 21.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists for a 51-win Blazers squad.
In announcing his extension, Lillard had this to say:
“Just thankful, man. I play the game out of love, and it’s inspiring to be rewarded for doing things the right way and being a high-character person. It’s also comforting to know that none of what I’ve accomplished has been handed to me.”
With Aldridge likely moving on, Lillard takes over as the new face of the Blazers franchise. It really couldn’t be in better hands.
Photo: USA Today Sports