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Damian Lillard requests trade from Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard has said repeatedly that he wants to contend for a championship. After 11 years in Portland, he has decided he needs to move elsewhere to make that happen.

Lillard reportedly asked the Trail Blazers for a trade, a move that would end his tenure with the only NBA team he’s ever known.

The Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets are high on the list of teams to land him, per multiple reports, while ESPN reports the LA Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs could also be in the mix. Per The Associated Press, Lillard’s preference is Miami — the reigning Eastern Conference champion — though that hardly guarantees the Trail Blazers will work to facilitate that specific move.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports Lillard made his decision to ask for a trade last night.

He had met with Portland multiple times in recent weeks, asking for the roster to be upgraded to the point where he can compete for a championship. But those efforts, evidently, did not go to Lillard’s liking and led to him asking to be moved elsewhere.

Shortly after the NBA Draft, Blazers general manager Joe Cronin made it clear that the team wanted Lillard to stay with them and build a winning team around him.

“I would say that my goal is to keep both of them,” Cronin said then. “I would love to see Dame retire a Trail Blazer. I have zero desire to trade him. I really hope this works out here. And I think you can tell how excited I am about Scoot Henderson. He has a chance to be a special player in this league.”

However, that seems to have changed as trade chatter surrounding Lillard began to swirl in the offseason.

Lillard became the all-time leading scorer in Blazers history, passing Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler for the mark, in a Dec. 19 game in Oklahoma City. He is the only player in franchise history with seven All-NBA honors and one of three players to be named All-NBA first team while with the Trail Blazers (2017-18). He is a seven-time All-Star, a 2021 Olympic gold medalist, the 2012-13 Kia Rookie of the Year and a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

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