Damian Lillard Urges Portland Trail Blazers To Target Veteran Help In Offseason

Photo: Instagram/Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard, the franchise cornerstone of the Portland Trail Blazers, has expressed a desire for the team to target veteran help this offseason instead of focusing on young talent through the draft.

This comes after the team failed to qualify for the play-in tournament for the second straight year, with Lillard stating that he wants a chance to go for it.

While the team has a 10.5% chance of landing French phenom Victor Wembanyama with the fifth-best odds in next month's draft lottery, Lillard has made it clear that anything else won't be enough for him.

Photo: Instagram/Damian Lillard

According to The Athletic's Jason Quick, the Blazers will likely try to trade their first-round pick unless they get the No. 1 selection in the draft.

Lillard's friendship with Jerami Grant played a role in the team's decision to trade for him last summer, and Lillard has indicated that he's talked to other players who have expressed a desire to join the Blazers.

However, he acknowledges that making that a reality is a completely separate thing.

General manager Joe Cronin and head coach Chauncey Billups share Lillard's sentiments, with Cronin stating that the team has a "target group" of players it will look to acquire.

The Blazers were among the teams that pursued the Raptors' OG Anunoby before the trade deadline, and they may also have strong interest in the Nets' Mikal Bridges and the Celtics' Jaylen Brown, although they may be beyond the team's reach.

Lillard, who is coming off his best scoring season at 32.2 PPG, is not issuing an ultimatum as he did two years ago.

He remains committed to staying in Portland, and now has the security of an extension that runs through the 2026/27 season.

He plans to work with Cronin and Billups on moves that will hopefully turn the Blazers into contenders.

Cronin has expressed optimism about their shared goals, but acknowledges that it may not be easy to accomplish.

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