Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard recently requested a meeting with team owner Paul Allen to discuss the direction of the franchise, ESPN’s Chris Haynes reports. Lillard met with Allen prior to the team’s game on Thursday, and the two sides discussed several different team-related matters.
Lillard, who will turn 28 on July 15, requested the meeting in part to reaffirm his commitment to the only professional franchise he has suited up for, but also to gain assurances that the organization was just as devoted to expeditiously crafting a title-contending team, sources said.
According to sources, the meeting was held without knowledge of anyone else in the organization. Allen notified the Trail Blazers’ basketball operations and business branch afterward.
In the weeks leading up to the meeting, Allen feared Lillard would request a trade, sources said, but a trade request was not made. The two-time All-Star made it clear, though, that he has championship aspirations and wanted to fulfill those lofty goals during the remaining years of his prime window.
Lillard gave his full vote of confidence for Blazers coach Terry Stotts to Paul Allen, according to ESPN, and also questioned why the team traded Will Barton back in 2015. They also discussed different players the team should pursue via trade.
Lillard, 27, was named an NBA All-Star Monday night after not making the team the past two seasons. His scoring has dipped slightly this season, scoring 25.2 points per game on 44 percent shooting from the floor and 36 percent from 3-point range.
The Blazers have reportedly explored the possibility of trading for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, clearly engaged in ways to improve their roster before the February 8 trading deadline. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have been untouchable in trade discussions this month, a source told Def Pen Hoops.