Damien Lillard denied that he had made up his mind and would ask for a trade in the coming days, but said he had still not decided on his future.
This gives the Knicks – and other suitors – the hope that Lillard will eventually want to move out of Portland as he meets with new coach Chancey Billup and GM Neil Olsche in Las Vegas on Friday night.
Making his comments after Team USA practice, Lillard still hinted that his future is very up in the air. However, at the end of the conference call, when asked if he “expects” to be with the Blazers next season, he nodded and said he did.
TrueHoop.com reported Friday morning that it would be asking for trading in the coming days.
“I woke up to those reports,” Lillard said. “It is not true. I said that last time I spoke to you guys, many things were being said which are not happening to me. It is not true. I also said what will be my future, I have not taken any firm decision on this. No one else needs to speak for me.
“A lot of things go into it,” Lillard said. “At this point I just need to discuss this with my team.”
The Post has reported several times that Lillard will likely be attracted to the Knicks’ position as his assistant coach Jonny Bryant is one of his mentors from Oakland. The Knicks have been monitoring Lillard’s situation for months, with the Blazers interested in putting together a package for the superstar.
Lillard was badly disappointed in the Blazers’ first round knockout against the Underman Blazers and wants to compete for a title.
“The best way to put this is to be more urgent about our next steps and how we move forward,” Lillard said Friday. “we made [the] Playoffs for several years in a row. We are not a bad team. We are a winning team. We got a great atmosphere, great city, great fans. But we have reached the point where it is not enough. Do we really want to win it all? Are we shooting it? We have to do something to show that.”