JULY 9TH, 12:12pm: The deal is official, the team announced, confirming that it runs for five seasons, through 2020/21.
“From the day he arrived in Portland, Damian has embodied all of the characteristics we value and expect as a player and a person,” GM Neil Olshey said. “The level of commitment we are making to one another provides the foundation our organization will be built on. We could not find a finer example of the organizational culture we are working to create than Damian.”
5:33pm: Lillard released a statement regarding his new deal, hat tip to Spears (via Twitter). “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,” Lillard said. “It’s also comforting knowing that none of what I’ve accomplished has been handed to me.”
JULY 2ND, 4:57pm: The Blazers and Lillard have agreed to the max extension, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Spears hears from a source who estimates it’ll be worth between $125-129MM, though that would be based off the standard 25% max and doesn’t take into account the 30% max he’d make if he triggers the Rose rule.
JULY 1ST, 8:02am: The Blazers and Damian Lillard are nearing agreement on a five-year max extension, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The news is no surprise, as Lillard was intent on seeking a max extension, as Shams Charania of RealGM reported in April, while Portland had plans to be “very aggressive” to sign the Aaron Goodwin client to just that sort of deal, as Stein later wrote.
The rookie scale extension would be the second during this year’s signing window, as Anthony Davis and the Pelicans quickly agreed to a five-year max extension of their own just as the calendar flipped to July 1st. Both will become the Designated Players for their respective teams, meaning that no one else on Portland or New Orleans can sign a five-year rookie extension until Lillard or Davis are either traded or their extensions run to term. For Portland, that affects C.J. McCollum, Meyers Leonard and the newly acquired Noah Vonleh.
Lillard, whose extension would kick in for the 2016/17 season, would receive an estimated haul in excess of $120MM, according to Stein, though that figure would be based on the point guard ending up with the standard 25% max for veterans of seven or fewer years. However, he made the All-NBA Third Team in 2013/14, and even though he didn’t earn another All-NBA selection this past season, Lillard can still trigger the Derrick Rose rule and end up with a 30% max if he returns to one of the All-NBA teams or wins MVP. The difference would be an estimated starting salary of around $25MM with the 30% max and roughly $21MM on the 25% max.