Damian Lillard is becoming frustrated with the Trail Blazers’ performance, and tensions appear to be increasing between the players and new coach Chauncey Billups, sources tell Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic.
Portland’s front office didn’t make the significant roster changes that Lillard requested during the offseason, and the team has fallen to 11-13 after a pair of lopsided losses. Charania and Amick say that Lillard would like to see the Blazers acquire Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons to help improve a defense that ranks last in the league.
Sources tell the authors that the front office, under recently fired general manager and president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, set a framework of a deal that would have sent CJ McCollum, a first-round pick, and either Nassir Little or Anfernee Simons to Philadelphia in exchange for Simmons. The Sixers reportedly countered by asking for McCollum along with multiple draft picks and future draft swaps, which Portland turned down.
It’s not clear if that offer is still on the table or if any major deal will be made before Olshey’s permanent replacement is hired, according to Charania and Amick.
Olshey never lost confidence in the roster that he built, which is why he didn’t overhaul it after Lillard’s offseason request. He also ignored Lillard’s desire to consider Jason Kidd as head coach after firing Terry Stotts, making a controversial move with Billups instead. Lillard wanted an experienced coach instead of a first-timer like Billups and was willing to accept Mike D’Antoni as well, according to the authors.
Although Billups has vowed to improve the team’s defense from the time he was hired, Portland’s performance on that end of the court hasn’t changed. Billups has also alienated players by publicly criticizing their effort after losses, with the latest instance coming Saturday.
“Competitive fire and pride, that’s something you either have or don’t have,” Billups said after his team gave up 145 points to the Celtics. “That’s something you can’t turn off and turn on. … I’ve never seen a team that needs its bench to inspire our starters. (That’s) crazy to me. It’s supposed to be the other way around.”
Lillard’s decline in production is also contributing to his frustration. He’s dealing with an abdominal injury that will keep him out of action at least through the end of the week. His scoring average has fallen from 28.8 PPG last season to 21.5 PPG so far this year. He’s getting fewer shots in Billups’ offense and is connecting at a career-worst 39.7% from the field and 30.2% on three-pointers. He’s also being used in pick-and-rolls less frequently than under Stotts and is seeing fewer free throw attempts.
Lillard still hasn’t asked for a trade and plans to give the organization time to find a new leader before deciding on his next move, Charania and Amick add. However, his desire for a roster upgrade hasn’t changed.
There are two important dates to watch in determining Lillard’s future with Portland, the authors note. The trade deadline is February 10, roughly two months away, so if Lillard wants to leave the Blazers this season, he will have to request a deal by then. The other is July 6, when Lillard will become eligible for a super-max extension that would be worth $106.6MM over two seasons and would push his contract through the 2026/27 season. Lillard’s ultimate decisions will likely be determined by what the team does with its roster by then.
71 thoughts on “Damian Lillard Losing Patience In Portland, Wants Blazers To Trade For Ben Simmons”
Trade Dame for Simmons.
why would portland do that? if they are going to trade Dame it would signal a rebuild and they would want younger players and picks
Ben Simmons is a younger player & Portland would probably be able to get a pick or 2 in the deal if they traded Dame for him
ben Simmons is a complimentary player. if anything they would send him to a third team and bottom out. without Dame there Simmons makes no sense
Simmons would make sense, cj and powell are still 40 points a night from the guards and Simmons helps like in at the point forward. Actually makes perfect sense
Running out 3 6’3 guards with similar skill sets offensively and little defensive skills is what makes no sense
Simmons in Portland without Dame makes zero sense and anyone tryin to make it make sense has be a Philly homer, Portland without Dame would mean complete tear down and everyone on the roster goes for picks and players under 21
Yes, trade Lillard in 2024
Blazers would never trade Lillard until McCollum and Nurkic are traded
Blazers would never trade away any future Firsts
Trade away the second round picks
Even if he wins DPOY, Simmons is not a franchise player, he showed 0 mental, has no trade leverage since he is not playing. Morey should get CJ and an expiring Nurk or Rocco for a drama queen that is not ready for a win now …
Everybody knows Simmons’ skillset. Sitting out doesn’t change his value or skillset. Every GM knows this.
I think Portland would rather rebuild than try and ein by replacing Lillard with Simmons.
They would need to trade CJ for Simmons because only Llirad is comparable in trade value. So is he throwing CJ under the bus?
Maybe if Sixers throws in 3 first round picks as well
Try like 7. If the Sixers were asking 4 firsts for BEN, doesn’t that theoretically make Dame worth like 7?? Morey might’ve shot himself in the foot by asking for the moon for Ben.
Ben is a star. 76ers want to trade the star for the moon.
Ben was a star. That star has faded, considerably.
Lillard is begging for Simmons
Hahahaha, Simmons is the savior, good luck on that
I will be happy when Simmons is gone, but for a player to be demanding for Simmons now and thinking he is some kind of savior and will smooth things over in Portland is insane
I think the Blazers really miss Paul Allen!!!
He immediately improved Philly’s franchise as a 20yr old, what makes you think he wouldn’t immediately improve Portland now that he’s entering his prime
That year also marked the first time Embiid played 63 games and it was the first year of Reddick with the 6ers too. I think they had some other reasons for the turnaround.
Of course, now a superstar like Ben doesn’t effect a team, we got it, right?
You might not like Ben, which speaks more about your understanding of hoops than anything else, but that doesn’t mean he ain’t great, food for thought right there!
Hey you actually speak aka type more than Free Ben Simmons
I must have inspired you
As for my opinion about Ben Simmons, it will never change
How quickly people have forgotten that Ben is a top 5 defender in the NBA, which is where the Blazers need the most help.
He has an extremely strong argument as literally THE best overall defender in the world. In fact I’d say he’s definitely the top individual defender in the sport right now & has been for a few yrs now. He’s also extremely great offensively and on the boards as well. Crazy how many people that spend so much time watching basketball can’t even recognize an obviously great basketball player even when they’ve seen him play for years
It’s hard to say Simmons is the top individual defender in the sport as of right now when he isn’t even playing right now. Even if Simmons were playing as of right now I’d put Mikal Bridges over him in that category. He’s gifted as a passer in transition but in the half court he’s nearly a net zero as he can’t shoot, won’t drive and only mediocre as a passer. Simmons a great athlete that had a lot of potential. He’s never gotten better since his rookie year, in fact he’s regressed. Yes he impacts winning games to a degree but his flaws also impact loosing. On the right team where he had no pressure to perform offensively other than set screens and roll to the basket he could very well be a great complimentary player but that’s all.
You know this isn’t football right. there’s another side to play. he’s sooooo amazing defensively and we are constantly reminded how he “shut down ” Trae in game 7 and held him to 5 of 23 or something. still, young hit his FTs and outscored Ben 23 to 5. why, because Simmons contributed nothing during the most important game on the playoffs.
Even as bad as Ben played he was +1 during his 36 (ok 35:50) minutes on the floor. Ben is still a net positive even at his absolute worst
Other team fans believe that McCollum can take blazers to the title
None blazers fans want to murder Blazers
Simmons is not the answer to their problems. He could help defensively, but the entirety of the roster is not good and doesn’t mix well. I’m not sure I’d give up a bunch of potentially high first rounders.
Agree, the entire roster is flawed. As I said months ago, blow it up. They’re receive significant young assets and pics. They’ll be much better in 2-3 seasons.
No, Blazers roster is good except McCollum and Nurkic
Rosters are as good as their mix. You have to complement superstars and have players that work well together. I don’t see that with the Blazers.
I agree, Nurkic and CJ are the main issues in Portland. Addition by subtraction if they can get rid of Nurkic, and replace him with Larry Nance in the starting lineup.
Philly needs a guy like Nance Jr more than a youngster like Ant or Nas… CJ, Nance & Portland’s 2022 1st for Ben might be a good deal for both teams tho. Portland would be set up pretty nice whether Dame eventually requests a trade or not. Ben, Norm, Ant & Nurk is a nice core going forward. Definitely seems like Dame is gonna be elsewhere by this time next yr tho
They owe their 2022 first rounder to The Bulls
They got nance for their 2022 1st round.n they still need him too.maybe cj n 2 1st rounder,2nd rounder for ben.
Dame, you are the main reason for losing. Please shoot better and play defense!
Mind boggling that this random nobody thinks it’s a good idea to tell Damian Lillard, one of the best shooters of all time, to shoot better smh. That’s like me telling Adele to sing better smh. Michol you are bad at being a basketball fan. Focus on doing that better then maybe one day you can graduate to giving Damian Lillard shooting advice
He’s not wrong.. whether it’s his health or not.. Dame not performing like Dame is their main problem
Disagree, the roster is a 40-48 win roster at best. They’re just treading water every season.
New to the internet, are you?
Also, Dame’s new nickname: “The Adele of Basketball”.
If Curry had played as bad as Dame this season, even W’s would be only .500 record. Every Blazers and Dame fans thought they had better roster than W’s. So what gives?? At some point, you have to take some ownership instead of blaming everybody in the organization. CJ and Simon have both outplayed Dame this year. It’s a fact.
I agree. Lillard isn’ t locked in anymore. He’s just chuckin’ up jumpers, and missing. End of the road ahead for Dame and the Blazers.
Agreed, Lillard is having a down year. Perhaps he needs to lay off the Modelos?
I traded Cj for Ben in 2k and the team was funner FYI
Sixers fan here: I’ll do the McCollum thing yesterday!
Sixers fan here, too…no way would I do that trade outside of 4 number 1’s and 3 pick swaps…if they want Tobias for C J we could have a conversation…but even that does not excite me
So you think Ben is worth 7 1st round picks AND CJ McCollum?? So how many 1sts is Dame worth then?? 500??
Right now, none, have you seen him play this year?
The man has been patient with this organization. Give him what he wants or rebuild.
Looks like the all starting 5 wants to go out of Portland … Even the coach is now blaming them out loud when he is supposed to fix somehow the D to make Dame stay … Next GM has to be a wizard to fix this franchise that was not prepare for change.
Did HWMVP get grounded and his electronics taken away?
Ben Simmons is only worth C.J. McCollum if that
Blazers ex-GM Neil Olshey might have been a terrible basketball strategist, egoic, narcissistic, A-hole, but not trading 2 up & comers, and C.J. McCollum for 1 overpaid by about 10-12 million, shooting liability, yet defensive stalwart, was smart then, and now. Why do the Blazers have to be dumb because a bully of a GM that nobody really ever liked left?
Right now no one would doubt that Ben is in a course to be a lock as a HoF… & no one would ever dream to see CJ in the HoF… so you have a very peculiar way to see things, but hey have fun it’s great to be the only one!
Portland should trade the whole team… But not for Ben Simmons the future Hall-Of-Famer without a jump shot…
McCollum is atleast close to a top 10 SG the last 5 years
I wouldn’t choose Ben Simmons for my PF, or PG in my top 5 at either position
Signing, or trading for Ben Simmons would be desperate, everybody else was already gone, and I’m a gambling GM decision
Especially at 27-29 million, or more…
I don’t know how it gets done but bring Simmons and Andre Drummond to Portland with Damian Lillard and they will have a group of stars with something to prove. Would be fun to watch.
Players like Dame should either not sign long term with current team if unhappy or deal with it instead of demanding a trade like Harden. Luka could be doing the same thing in a few years. What’s the benefit of signing long term if your going to want to leave anyway.
Lillard, Covington for
Smart and Browns, Williams
Oh, that will help, smh.
POR deserves these kind of sporadic statements from Lillard. It’s what happens when all you do for years is kiss a star’s butt instead of taking the risks needed to put a contending roster around him. Maybe this (a request from their star) is what POR needs to make a significant move. I think its too late. At this point, Lillard is not a guy who you can build a championship team around. They should deal him, if some team is willing to fork over a huge haul for him.
I seen this before… ummmm…. Where was it? Oh yeah! It was in Houston with Harden. If players can demand another player and fail when the organization try to accommodate, why should any organization be interested in that player. It isn’t just Harden or Lillard doing this and 9 times out of 10, fails. LeBron with Cavs and now Lakers is another. I mean, who really controls the situation and contracts? Players have too much say and I see them running the show. Owners just signs the check.
It’s like this, Players morale “I’ll make the owner of team B trade for you in Team A. It’s Team B money anyways and we don’t need younger players in our way!” Then boom, draft picks and younger players are dealt away because one player demands one guy to be savior
Wouldn’t matter b/c Chauncey Billups has no idea how to use an NBA rotation, and doesnt know who half his players even are
This is the 2nd or 3rd year w hbk ere they put together a roster to be used a certain way, and Stotts or Billups dont get anywhere close to using it that way…but let’s fire the gm and blame him. That makes perfect sense
CJ doesn’t get it done for the Sixers
The Garden is waiting on you Dame …….
Look inward Dame! Maybe the reason the team ranks last in defense is partially because he’s ignored becoming a competent defender his whole career. He’s a turnstile.
Portland is in trouble.Simmons would most certainly help.Team is stagnant and it needs a boost.