Damian Lillard is a hot commodity in NBA circles right now, as rumors have indicated the Los Angeles Lakers—among others—are interested in acquiring the star. One might think, given Portland's unceremonious exit from the playoffs in the first round, Lillard is ready to move on. But that sure doesn't seem to be the case.
As Lillard tells it, he's thrilled to be a Blazer.
"I'm not unhappy," Lillard said Sunday, according to OregonLive, after watching Portland's Summer League game in Las Vegas. "I love where I live. I love the organization. I love our coaching staff. I love where I am."
With LeBron James signing with the Lakers and the other big names that L.A. was expected to pursue now set to suit up elsewhere—Paul George re-signed with Oklahoma City, and DeMarcus Cousins signed with Golden State—reports have indicated L.A. is now looking to the trade market to acquire a second star. Lillard's name has popped up, as have the names of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Kevin Love, Kawhi Leonard, and DeMar DeRozan, among others.
Though Lillard seems content with the Blazers, he was frustrated that the team allowed veteran big man Ed Davis to sign with Brooklyn. Lillard also wasn't happy to see Shabazz Napier and Pat Connaughton leave.
"I loved Ed," Lillard said. "One of my best friends in the league (and) favorite teammates I've played with. To lose him, that's a loss for our team. Bazz played big minutes for us. Pat played big minutes for us. So we lose three rotation players that gave us a lot, that contributed to our season last year."
Lillard said Portland will just have to "find a way to make it happen." He explained:
It's going to be a battle. The way I see it, you're going to have the Golden State's, the Rockets. We were the third best team in the West and every other team behind us, they brought their guys back. So they're going to be one more year experienced together, probably going to be a little bit better. Teams like Denver, Utah and Minnesota, all those teams are going to be improved. So, us, we can't look at free agency and who we didn't get and [say] we didn't make this trade and all that stuff. Once the season starts, we've got to go. And we've got to do what we've got to do ... we've just got to find a way to make it happen.
Portland finished No. 3 in the West with a 49-33 record last season before New Orleans swept the Blazers in the first round.