Blazers, Lillard Expected To Agree To Super-Max Extension

While Damian Lillard‘s 2019 playoff run came to an end on Monday night, his contract with the Trail Blazers is expected to be extended this offseason, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Haynes reports that Lillard and the Blazers will likely agree to terms on a super-max extension this summer after the point guard becomes eligible.

Lillard would gain eligibility for a Designated Veteran Extension – known colloquially as the super-max – if he earns a spot on one of the All-NBA teams for the 2018/19 season, which is viewed as a lock.

Portland’s All-Star point guard still has two years left on his contract, but a super-max extension could tack on four more years to that deal, locking him up through the 2024/25 season.

Lillard is owed $29.8MM in 2019/10 and $31.6MM in 2020/21, and those figures would remain unchanged if the two sides reach a new agreement. The extension, which would have a starting salary worth 35% of the cap, would begin in 2021/22. While the exact value of that four-year deal isn’t yet known, the current estimate based on the league’s future cap projections is about $191MM, as Haynes notes.

Since Lillard will turn 29 this July, his four-year extension would cover his age 31-to-34 seasons. As we’ve seen with the Wizards and John Wall, it would be a risk for the Blazers to make such a significant investment two years before the deal goes into effect. But the team appears ready to make that commitment to one of the best players in franchise history.

Citing rival executives, Haynes writes that there’s a belief Lillard will get a player option on his new extension, which he bypassed last time he negotiated a new contract with the Blazers.

A seven-year veteran, Lillard is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, having averaged 25.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and a career-high 6.9 APG in 80 games for Portland. He also produced one of the most memorable moments in the postseason, when he eliminated the Thunder from the first round with a 37-foot buzzer beater, then waved goodbye to their bench after the shot dropped.

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