NBA Rumors: Damian Lillard "Would Prefer to Stay on the West Coast" If Traded

Damian Lillard is one of the most spectacular players in the NBA, and his clutch playoff performances are already legendary, despite never making it to the NBA Finals.  The Portland Trail Blazers have failed to build a championship-caliber supporting cast around 6x All-Star, although they have made the playoffs every season from 2013-2014 until now.  

The combination of Lillard and fellow sharpshooter CJ McCollum in the backcourt has been thought of as a poor man's version of the Splash Brothers by rival executives, and it's hard to argue that given their lack of playoff success.  While the Warriors' duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson has won three NBA championships, the Blazers have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in 5 of the last 8 seasons.  In that span, the Warriors and Trail Blazers have played each other three times in the playoffs, and Golden State has a 12-1 record in those matchups, sweeping them in 2017 and 2019.

The Trail Blazers are in the midst of a disappointing season and they are at risk of missing out on the playoffs altogether as they are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference with a 21-31 record. To make matters worse, Damian Lillard underwent abdominal surgery and is expected to miss an extended period of time. Though Lillard has stated numerous times he would like to finish his career in Portland, rumors have persisted over the last year or so that Lillard will eventually be traded to a team that is ready to contend for a championship.

If Lillard is indeed traded, he prefers to stay close to home according to Chad Ford on a recent episode of his podcast while discussing a potential deal for the Sixers' Ben Simmons:

Maybe Damian Lillard asks out but I don't actually least nothing that I've heard of has Damian Lillard insisting that it has to be Philadelphia that he goes to.  In fact, everything that I've heard is that he would prefer a move to the west coast, or to stay on the west coast if he has a deal.

That is pretty big news considering how often Lillard and Simmons have been linked as trade partners and while it's unlikely that Lillard gets moved before next Thursday's deadline, this certainly throws some fuel on the Lillard trade fires heading into the offseason.

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