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Is Damian Lillard getting frustrated over in Portland? It's likely considering how the Trail Blazers started the year off. Heading into the 2021-2022 NBA season, Lillard made it clear that he's remaining loyal to the Blazers, and he believed they could contend in the Western Conference this year.

So far, Portland hasn't shown anything to prove Lillard right. In 25 games, the Blazers notched an 11-14 record. Currently, they are ranked 10th in the West. Not only is Portland dealing with on-court issues, but the organization just wrapped up a private investigation, which led to the firing of their longtime President of Basketball Operations, Neil Olshey.

More change is expected to come in the Portland front office. That could lead to a major shakeup on Portland's roster. Lately, there've been tons of rumors regarding the future of the Blazers hinting that notable moves such as trading CJ McCollum could be coming sooner than later. 

And as the Sixers still possess a disgruntled Ben Simmons, who refuses to play, many believe the Blazers and the Sixers could help each other out by bailing out one another. There are significant problems with that suggestion, though. On the Sixers' side, they aren't interested in a McCollum-centric package, per a report from Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice.

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On Portland's side, their star guard's camp downplayed Lillard's desire to play with three other stars but specifically Simmons, according to Sports Illustrated's senior writer, Chris Mannix

"There has been some reporting over the last couple of days about Damian Lillard's interest in playing with Ben Simmons, and about his interest in a long-term extension with the team. For whatever it’s worth, from the Lillard side, I’m told, none of that’s true. Lillard has not expressed any interest in acquiring Ben Simmons and that since he’s not eligible for a max extension, yet, there haven’t been those discussions either." via The Crossover NBA Show

Let's make something clear here; just because Lillard and his camp deny asking the Blazers to make a deal for Simmons doesn't necessarily mean the six-time All-Star wouldn't embrace playing with the 25-year-old All-Star.

At the end of the day, the Blazers are going to do what they think is best for their team, and it's in their best interest to build around Lillard if they plan to keep him. Simmons would be a solid complement to the star guard's game, so it's hard to imagine he wouldn't want to play with Simmons.

However, Lillard doesn't want to take any heat for moves that Portland's front office does or doesn't make, which is understandable. Ultimately, personnel moves are out of his control. So, there's no logical reason for Lillard to take responsibility for what the Blazers' front office is doing.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.