JULY 9: Lillard’s extension is now official, the Trail Blazers announced in a press release.
“Damian Lillard is the greatest player in franchise history and an all-time NBA talent,” general manager Joe Cronin said. “In signing this contract extension, Damian continues his commitment to the city of Portland and the organization. We look forward to his continued excellence here with the Trail Blazers for many years to come.”
JULY 8: Damian Lillard is signing a two year, maximum-salary extension with the Trail Blazers, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
Multiple other reporters confirmed the news, including Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Marc J. Spears of Andscape (Twitter links), and ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter links).
According to Spears, Lillard is expected to put pen to paper tomorrow evening in Las Vegas, where Summer League is currently taking place. As part of the extension, Lillard will pick up the player option he held for 2024/25, says Marks.
As Marks relays, Lillard’s new deal contains a player option for ’26/27, so he’ll be under contract for at least four more seasons, with a player option in the fifth year. Lillard turns 32 next week, so the extension will carry through at least his age-35 season.
Although several reports state that Lillard’s deal will be worth $120MM, those are estimates based on the salary cap increasing significantly over time.
Lillard will get at least a 5% raise on his ’24/25 salary ($48,787,676), so the extension will be worth no less than $106.55MM. His maximum possible raise is 20%, in which case the extension would be worth $121.78MM. But the salary cap would have to be $167.3MM for him to get that full 20% raise, which would represent a huge year-over-year increase — this season’s cap is $123,655,000 cap.
Lillard struggled with injuries last season, appearing in just 29 games (36.4 MPG) with averages of 24.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 7.3 APG on .402/.324/.878 shooting. Both his field goal percentage and three-point percentage were career-lows, so clearly the abdominal injury – which required surgery and shut down his season prematurely – was hampering his on-court production.
Prior to his injury struggles in ’21/22, Lillard had been a stalwart performer for Portland, rarely missing games and averaging at least 35.5 MPG in each of his 10 seasons. Lillard has been named to both the All-Star team and All-NBA teams six times apiece during his career, which has been spent entirely with the Blazers.
Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote last week that Lillard still needed to be convinced that the Blazers were intent on competing after a disappointing season saw them finish 27-55 and miss out on the postseason for the first time since 2014. Reconstructing the roster by drafting Shaedon Sharpe, trading for Jerami Grant, signing free agent Gary Payton II, as well as re-signing Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons evidently was enough for Lillard to once again show his commitment to the only franchise he’s ever known.