Damian Lillard and the Trail blazers have been under a microscope for months this past off-season as many wondered if the All-Star guard was happy on the team and if he wants to play elsewhere.
Lillard has shot down these rumors countless times, and he recently reacted to a tweet regarding a story ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski published where he claimed Dame’s contract was at the center of turmoil brewing in the Blazers’ front office.
“Can’t say I’m surprised,” Lillard quote-tweeted in response to a tweet that was a picture of Donald Trump and Mike Pence shaking hands, captioned: “Woj and Olshey after writing that article slandering Dame.”
The “Olshey” in question is former Trail Blazers GM and president of basketball operations, Neil Olshey, who was recently fired from the organization. Some fans were speculating that Olshey and Woj colluded to slander Dame, and he seems to agree.
In Woj’s story, he writes how he believes Lillard’s hefty contract is hindering the team’s search for a new GM, and that it’s largely his fault that the process is going to be more difficult.
“Lillard wants a two-year, $107 million extension in July, and he and his agent need the next general manager to sell ownership on the idea,” Woj writes. “As much as anything, this cuts to the core of the Blazers’ search process. His desire for an extension into his advanced NBA years has turned into a battle for the franchise’s future, an existential threat to reshaping and redirecting the organization in a post-playoff reality.”
Woj also wrote in the article that there’s “no enthusiasm to grant Lillard his massive extension contract through the 2026-27 season,” amongst replacement GM candidates. It has not been confirmed whether Woj and Olshey had a prior relationship.