Damian Lillard has given his all to the Portland Trail Blazers, and at this point, no one should blame him if he asks for a trade.
That’s not to say he needs to. There is actually something very cool about him being defined by one franchise and developing the clutch reputation he has even if it never results in a ring. He could attempt to give the Blazers a chance to retool, as there’s no one else on the roster who isn’t expendable in doing so.
If I’m a Portland fan, I’d certainly rather watch Dame get eliminated early every season until he’s done, rather than go through a rebuild right now.
However, if Lillard is at the phase of his career where checking off a championship is the biggest goal he has left, I don’t think that will ever happen with the Blazers. Even if they were to deal CJ McCollum, I simply don’t see Portland having the assets it takes to put together a true contender.
So, if he’s had enough of putting up 55 points in a loss, or averaging 34 points and hitting more threes than anyone ever has in a playoff series and still being sent home, then he may need to find a new one.
After nine seasons and eight postseason eliminations, Lillard has already proven his loyalty to the franchise, and has obviously done his best with the Blazers. And thus, no one should be mad if Dame thinks it’s time for a trade.