NBA Rumors: Teams Have Stepped Up Push For Lillard Trade

 While the Portland Trail Blazers tear things down around him, rival teams around the league are circling like sharks on Damian Lillard. Feeling that the bare bones left on the team will convince Dame that it's time to move on, "multiple teams" have stepped up their calls to Portland, according to NBA Insider Marc Stein.

"Interested Dame suitors have clearly been emboldened by the Blazers’ reset to test their resolve on Lillard," says Stein. "Multiple teams have called the Trail Blazers to try to engage them in Damian Lillard trade talks before Thursday’s 3 PM ET trade buzzer."

But he adds that, thus far, those teams have been rebuffed "swiftly."

Now that the playoffs are seemingly fading into the woodwork for the Blazers, "the rising expectation from the outside" is that Lillard will sit out the rest of the season while recovering from abdominal surgery. 

Offseason plans uncertain on both sides

But come the summer, Stein says, all bets are off, and teams will put on the full-court press to convince Lillard it's time to move on, and give up on his loyalty to the team. 

Dame is eligible for a 2-year extension worth over $100M this offseason. He'll be 32 this summer, and it begs the question, will the Blazers even want to re-up at that price? 

Photo Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports