Following Monday’s meeting with Damian Lillard and his agent, Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin put out a brief statement indicating that the team remains committed to building around its star point guard. Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up on Tuesday morning (YouTube link), Brian Windhorst provided some additional information on how that meeting went.
“This was the meeting that a lot of the league was watching to see if Damian Lillard requested a trade, and he absolutely did not,” Windhorst said (hat tip to RealGM). “From what I understand, the tenor of the meeting was that he doesn’t want to put pressure on the Blazers, that he wants to see what they do in free agency, and he’s going to give them that time do that.
“This is an interesting strategy move. He said at the end of the season ‘Get me veterans.’ The draft came and went, no veterans. He’s still not pressing, from what I have been told. He’s still going to give the Blazers every opportunity to work through this free agency process this week, whether it’s through trades or signing players.”
As Windhorst points out, given that no trade request from Lillard seems imminent, teams like the Heat – who were reportedly preparing to make a trade offer for the Blazers star – might have to move forward with their other offseason moves rather than hoping that Lillard’s situation will change.
“This is going to potentially cause some teams that were going to make offers for him to have move on with business,” Windhorst said. “They were waiting to see whether Dame Lillard was going to be on the market before they started to make moves this week. Now, some teams are going to have to make a decision either go forward or wait around. Lillard is going to wait around.”
Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:
- The Pelicans have made center Jonas Valanciunas available in trade talks as they seek out a big man who is more mobile and more of a rim protector, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who says New Orleans inquired with the Cavaliers about Jarrett Allen‘s availability. Cleveland has reportedly rebuffed all inquiries for Allen.
- Clippers swingman Norman Powell is another veteran who is considered available on the trade market, Fischer reports, adding that Powell’s name popped up in rumors when L.A. was trying to acquire Chris Paul from Washington.
- Speaking of the Wizards, even after flipping Paul to Golden State, they’re still looking to move on from one or two more of their veteran point guards. Sources tell Fischer that Washington is seeking draft assets for Monte Morris and/or Delon Wright.
- The Rockets have been engaging in more trade talks involving Kenyon Martin Jr. since last week’s draft, Fischer writes. While it’s not clear exactly which teams Houston has talked to recently, Fischer says the Hawks, Suns, and Nets have been cited as possible suitors for Martin dating back to the trade deadline in February.