Damian Lillard Responds to Claims That He Wants to Play for Lakers

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

Social media rumors of Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard wanting a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers were quickly ended by the point guard, who pointed out the significance of what day the rumor was posted.

That day in question was April Fools’ Day, a day in which far-fetched information and practical jokes tend to be the norm.

The 29-year-old Lillard has been a member of the Trail Blazers organization since he was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Just last year, Lillard agreed to a four-year contract extension that could pay him as much as $196 million over four years beginning with the 2021-22 season. The final year of that deal, which is a player option, would pay him $54.25 million, when he would be 34 years old.

Lillard’s career production justifies the steep investment the Trail Blazers have made, with the veteran averaging 24.0 points, 6.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds over his eight seasons in the league.

Those numbers for Lillard during the 2019-20 campaign have been even higher, with averages of 28.9 points, 7.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds per contest.

The idea of the Lakers acquiring Lillard is interesting, yet the economics of fitting him in within the salary cap effectively eliminate the idea. That’s because the Lakers are already using a good portion of the team’s salary cap to pay for both LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The fact that Davis could be paid even more next season if he opts out of the final year of his contract makes the remote prospect of a Lillard deal even less likely.

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Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.