Blazers Notes: Lillard, Stotts, Offseason

Earlier today, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that the Trail Blazers are expected to sign Damian Lillard to a super-max extension that would lock him up for four additional seasons beyond the end of his current contract.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst covered the same subject in his own article this morning, pointing out that the uncertain ownership situation in Portland is a potential wild card for Lillard and the Blazers. However, even though the star point guard would remain eligible to sign a super-max extension in 2020, he’s “at ease” with the ownership situation and is open to signing that new deal this offseason, sources tell Windhorst.

While Trail Blazers ownership – headed by Jody Allen, the sister of late owner Paul Allen – appears set to commit big money to Lillard, it’s unclear whether the team will continue to authorize future luxury-tax spending, Windhorst writes. For now, those in the organization have been informed that no short-term changes to spending are anticipated.

Here’s more on the Blazers:

  • Terry Stotts‘ contract situation will be worth watching closely this offseason, as 2019/20 is the final year of his current deal. Sources tell Chris Haynes that Stotts wasn’t pleased about not being extended a year ago, so the team will likely have to put an extension on the table now in order to get him back for next season. Head of basketball operations Neil Olshey, who has two years left on his contract, may have earned an extension as well, Windhorst writes.
  • In his preview of the Trail Blazers’ offseason, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) explains why it will be tricky for the team to retain role players like Rodney Hood, Enes Kanter, and Seth Curry, and points out that CJ McCollum will be extension-eligible too.
  • Sean Deveney of Sporting News previews Portland’s upcoming summer as well, exploring whether the club can find a way to take another leap forward in 2019/20.
  • Jason Quick of The Athletic rounded up some post-game reactions from Blazers players on Monday, and took a look back at what was a memorable 2018/19 season for the franchise. “In the past few years, I’ve been much more like … hurt,” Lillard said, following Portland’s elimination. “Right now, a lot of the things that happened … like, I know how we lost. And not dominating how I would have liked to is disappointing. But to be where we are now — one of the final four teams — it doesn’t hurt as bad.”
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4 thoughts on “Blazers Notes: Lillard, Stotts, Offseason

  1. x%sure

    No to Lillard extension. He will play for less. He has a ready replacement in Mccollum. They both play horrible defense even when effort is crucial. Lillard is already having a hard time getting his shot off, moreso than Mccollum, having to step back to Curry-like distances… But Curry is an all-around player and his distances are simply a choice. Right now Lillard (if healthy) compares more to Kemba Walker than Curry and is a couple years behind Chris Paul– and has a couple years on his contract. Perfect. Sign him for less then, not more.

    It was a good idea to allow guard-dominance to creep in, but even the Rockets, who have a better concept of it, have found limitations with it.
    Kanter, Aminu, and Stotts also showed limitations so Olshey has work to do. Can they beat Denver again, with Nurkic? Hmm the Nuggets won’t get worse.

  2. Meadowlark

    Neither Lillard or Curry will ever make the NBA all defensive team, and while I nearly always agree with X% I think he’s got this one off base just slightly. Spending winter up here in the frozen north allows plenty of time for basketball viewing. Lillard’s defense has improved to the point where he’s at least average in the ‘don’t-touch-me’ world of the current NBA and as dazzling as Curry is (maybe the most dazzling small man all-time) Lillard is a better defender, perhaps even a significantly better defender. Keep writing X%, you’re better than our StarTribune writers, and I get to read you for free.

    • x%sure

      Thanks. I am just stunned at how the mighty WC could field such an overwhelmed team for its finals when GSW was playing reserves and the Denver series was so amazing. I remember telling @yoyo a while back, I don’t get what the Blazers try to do. BTW I assume yoyo is too mad to post here now!

      That “don’t-touch-me” thing… Legler was getting into a “won’t-touch-him” thing on sportscenter, pointing out how Blazer players avoid getting in the way of opponents when they want to get somewhere. Suit up Maurice Lucas. Popovich would put a stop to that. Of course he didn’t go as far. Getting farther is one thing one can say about the 2019 Blazers.

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