Utah Jazz Reportedly Interested In Trading For Damian Lillard
Jul 2, 2023, 11:38 AM | Updated: 11:59 am
According to multiple reports, Lillard spoke with the Blazers on July 1 and requested a trade out of Portland. The NBA All-Star reportedly asked for a trade to the Miami Heat, who won the Eastern Conference last season.
Later that day, Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin addressed the guard’s demand.
“We have been clear that we want Dame here but he notified us today he wants out and he’d prefer to play someplace else,” Cronin said via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “What has not changed for us is that we’re committed to winning, and we are going to do what’s best for the team in pursuit of that goal.”
Wojnarowski reported that front offices around the league have the “impression” that Portland is looking for a “star-level return package” for Lillard and “Cronin plans to look well beyond” the Heat to land that type of deal.
Front offices talking to Portland today were left with impression that GM Joe Cronin is pursuing a star-level return package for Damian Lillard – and that Cronin plans to look well beyond the Miami Heat to find one. https://t.co/9NWtJN9JLm
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2023
Following Lillard’s request and Cronin’s comments, Amick reported the Jazz as one of the teams that would “love to land” the former Weber State standout via trade. In addition to the Jazz, the NBA writer said the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers have an interest in Lillard.
“There is no shortage of teams that would love to land Damian Lillard, with Philly, the Clippers and Utah known to be among the many,” Amick tweeted along with a link to a recent article he wrote on the Lillard situation. “But the Blazers star wants to go to Miami. So…what will Blazers GM Joe Cronin do?”
There is no shortage of teams that would love to land Damian Lillard, with Philly, the Clippers and Utah known to be among the many. But the Blazers star wants to go to Miami. So…what will Blazers GM Joe Cronin do?
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 2, 2023
In 2017, a Twitter user asked Lillard what team he’d be interested in signing with other than the Blazers. This was Lillard’s response:
“If blazers said they didn’t want me… Utah Jazz or Lakers.” – Damian Lillard
If blazers said they didn't want me… Utah Jazz or Lakers https://t.co/jep3V9qRsS
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) June 14, 2017
This year, Lillard has continued to speak highly of the Beehive State, including comments made during February’s NBA All-Star Weekend and this summer at Weber State’s alumni game.
— NBA (@NBA) February 19, 2023
Last season, the Blazers had a record of 33-49. Portland has missed the NBA playoffs in each of the past two seasons. Lillard’s best playoff run with Portland came in the 2018-19 season when the Blazers reached the Western Conference Finals.
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About Damian Lillard
Before his time as a professional, Lillard was a standout player for the Weber State men’s basketball team. He left Weber State as the program’s second-leading scorer all-time.
Lillard played for the Wildcats from 2008-12.
He scored 1,934 points during his time as a Wildcat. His jersey was retired by the university in 2017.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 1, 2023
Lillard was drafted by Portland with the 6th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
In 2022, Lillard was recognized as one of the NBA’s 75 greatest players in history.
He’s played his entire professional career in Portland.
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