Woj: Damian Lillard has to decide if he wants to grow with young group, Blazers are not going to be a contender this season

Adrian Wojnarowski: Damian Lillard has to decide if he wants to grow with this young group. This team is not going to be a championship contender this season. I think they’ve done an outstanding job in Portland in the last couple of years in the draft – Shaedon Sharpe last year and then this year, Scoot Henderson and two other good players who you could see a pathway to this young team. And if Damian Lillard wants to go to a contender, it’s gonna probably have to be somewhere [else] unless he’s willing to wait a couple years for this young group to grow. There’s no magic trade out there for them, they’ll try to re-sign Jerami Grant, I have some confidence they’ll be able to do that. He was certainly impactful last year. Damian Lillard has said he wants to spend his career in Portland, he wants to retire a Blazer, he certainly has that opportunity. He’s gonna be among the highest-paid players in the league over the next few years but I think Portland did what was right by their organization. Trading out of No. 3 for whatever the best available veteran would have been, would have been malpractice. You’re in a market like Portland, you don’t get cracks at it, you can’t go out in free agency to get star players. Your chance to get a star player is through the draft, and I think they did that last night.
Source: Twitter @GetUpESPN

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
NEW: It’s clear the Trail Blazers do not want to trade Damian Lillard. But will Lillard force their hand? Blazers GM Joe Cronin offered an update on the situation miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia… Also, the Heat is already working on its summer league roster – 11:06 AM
Jason Quick @jwquick
For one night, the Trail Blazers’ world didn’t revolve around Damian Lillard. The reason? Joe Cronin believes Scoot Henderson is too good to trade. theathletic.com/4634568/2023/0…10:32 AM
Bryan Kalbrosky @BryanKalbrosky
Nate Laszewski (Notre Dame) has agreed to play summer league for the Pacers, per source.
Full undrafted free agent tracker: ftw.usatoday.com/lists/tracking…10:31 AM
Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Blazers’ Damian Lillard rhetoric could put Heat at a loss; Heat add undrafted prospects. sun-sentinel.com/2023/06/23/bla… Of course what Blazers say and what Blazers do with Lillard could be two different stories. All the while, Heat fill out summer roster. – 10:27 AM
Cody Taylor @CodyTaylorNBA
Former Notre Dame guard Dane Goodwin will play summer league with the Kings, a source told @RookieWire. – 9:48 AM
Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
From last last night: Heat adds supreme 3-point shooting after the draft. And Blazers GM updates Portland media about where things now stand with Lillard after their conversation this week: miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…9:45 AM
Ball Don’t Lie @Balldontlie
After selecting Scoot Henderson, what’s next for the Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard?
From @brohrbach yhoo.it/42QhFxC pic.twitter.com/eiFpMWNoWv9:22 AM
Mike Vorkunov @MikeVorkunov
Scoot Henderson feels Portland is the best situation for him, that he’s come full circle with the people he knows there. And he hopes he gets a chance to play with Damian Lillard next season with the Blazers.
“It would be great just to learn from him.” theathletic.com/4634215/2023/0…8:58 AM
Wes Goldberg @wcgoldberg
New @LockedOnNetwork #NBA show with @MavsDraft
– The Wemby era begins! What’s next for the Spurs?
– Draft winners and losers
– Damian Lillard latest
– Chris Paul to the Warriors
podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/wem…7:24 AM
Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
Hello Friday!
🏀NBA Draft Reaction
🏀Chris Paul to Golden State
🏀Damian Lillard’s Future
@TheFrankIsola & @Scalabrine recap a busy night in the NBA now!
📻 Listen on the SXM App siriusxm.us/NBARadioLive
📺 Watch on the NBA App app.link.nba.com/Sirius-2 pic.twitter.com/Sq1mUXAOkL7:02 AM
Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
Blazers GM tonight on Lillard: “He wants it to work here, and he’s challenging us to get it done.”
miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…1:57 AM
Ball Don’t Lie @Balldontlie
Damian Lillard and Portland have not recently spoken about the draft, free agency or his future, per @ChrisBHaynes. pic.twitter.com/SeScSkWW5Q1:47 AM
Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
NEW: Heat begins signing undrafted rookies, adds one of best undrafted 3 point shooters (via Washington State). And Blazers GM updates where things stand with Lillard at this hour: miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…1:42 AM
Alex Kennedy @AlexKennedyNBA
Scoot Henderson hopes that Damian Lillard stays in Portland: “I’m hoping to get to play with Dame, for sure. Special talent, special guard. One of my favorites to watch, especially film-wise. Just to pick out how he moves off the court as well. It would be cool to play with him.” – 1:32 AM
Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
The reality of winning championships in the NBA is that it often means metaphorically cutting off your own arm. Raptors went through that with DeMar. Celtics are with Smart now.
Trading Dame is going to be brutal for that team and fanbase, but necessary to optimize the rebuild. – 1:18 AM
Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
Crazy parallel for Blazers… Back in ’84, they took Sam Bowie at No. 2 (Hakeem went No. 1) because they didn’t want to be redundant w/ MJ & Drexler. BAD MOVE. Not this time around w/ Scoot (not saying he’s MJ) & Dame (even tho I think he’ll get traded).
Can Scoot & Dame work? – 1:15 AM
Sean Highkin @highkin
Joe Cronin: “[Dame] wants it to work here, and he’s challenging us to get it done, which is more than fair. He’s earned that.” – 1:15 AM
Sean Highkin @highkin
Joe Cronin, asked if he feels like he’s in danger of losing Damian Lillard: “No, I don’t. He’s probably being more vocal than ever, but I don’t look at that as a negative.” – 1:14 AM
Sean Highkin @highkin
Joe Cronin on Scoot Henderson and Damain Lillard: “I have already said my goal is for Damian Lillard to retire a Trail Blazer. I have zero desire to trade him. I hope it works out here.” – 1:12 AM
Sean Highkin @highkin
I asked Joe Cronin if the intention is still to build around Damian Lillard. “It is.” – 1:08 AM
Sean Highkin @highkin
Joe Cronin says he had a “long talk” with Damian Lillard on Tuesday morning about trade possibilities. Has been in contact with agent Aaron Goodwin leading up to today. – 1:08 AM
Wes Goldberg @wcgoldberg
New episode of @LockedOnHeat reacting to the Heat picking Jaime Jaquez Jr., Damian Lillard’s future and more. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/loc…12:34 AM
Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Now all we need is Damian Lillard to ask out of Portland on Instagram Live while smoking a hookah. – 12:18 AM
Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
Lillard reportedly ready to give Blazers at least a bit more time. And more on Jaquez. The latest from our NBA Draft live blog, which will remain open well past midnight: miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…11:44 PM
Bryan Kalbrosky @BryanKalbrosky
For @USATODAYSports, I explained what Portland Trail Blazers fans are getting in G League Ignite star Scoot Henderson. This is a fascinating pick that already has Damian Lillard in the backcourt.
pic.twitter.com/uG3qiQHAsO11:32 PM
Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
Lillard decision on whether to ask for trade will extend “now between tonight and the start of free agency and into free agency,” per Shams. Wants to give Portland a bit more time to see if they can build contending team. – 11:31 PM
Sean Highkin @highkin
Worth nothing: Damian Lillard can’t actually be traded until July 9 (one year after he signed his extension) so it makes sense that the current stance is “giving the front office the first week of free agency to do enough.” – 11:25 PM
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Reporting on Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers next on @Stadium: twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1…11:19 PM
Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
“I think he should stay…it would be great to play along side a guy like Dame”
🏀 The newest member of the @trailblazers Scoot Henderson wants to be Damian Lillard’s teammate in Portland #RipCity #NBADraft
@TermineRadio | @DalenCuff | @SiriusXMSports
siriusxm.us/NBAdraft23 pic.twitter.com/ZpXqtfCwgI11:19 PM
Sean Highkin @highkin
Scoot Henderson says he’s been in touch with Damian Lillard throughout the predraft process asking for advice and getting to know each other. – 10:04 PM
Aaron J. Fentress @AaronJFentress
Joe Cronin, Chauncey Billups and Damian Lillard exited last season lamenting the fact that the team was too young and lacked size.
Then the Blazers drafted 6-2 Scoot Henderson, 19.
I’m not questioning the pick at No. 3. He was reportedly the best player available.
But … pic.twitter.com/9CtnyPJyhN9:31 PM
Dwight Jaynes @dwightjaynes
I would be shocked if Scoot isn’t traded. Scoot is not a combo guard who can play with Dame and Dame won’t play off the ball. And the Blazers aren’t of a mind to deal Dame. That leaves Scoot on the move. They are just waiting for the best deal – 9:07 PM
Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
Scoot Henderson is now a member of the #Blazers!
What does this mean for Damian Lillard???
🔊 @TermineRadio & @DalenCuff react #RipCity #NBADraft pic.twitter.com/uTNV7HrlfE9:00 PM
Mike Vorkunov @MikeVorkunov
“I’m hoping to get to play with Dame, for sure,” Scoot Henderson said.
“Yeah, it would be cool to play with him.” – 8:57 PM
Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
Our Heat-flavored NBA Draft blog, which we will update all night: Blazers take Scoot Henderson, setting stage for a possible Lillard trade request and a subsequent Heat pursuit. Ball in Dame’s court now: miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…8:26 PM
Kevin O’Connor @KevinOConnorNBA
Scoot Henderson to the Blazers. So, now what for Damian Lillard? Or is there an Anfernee Simons move to make? – 8:26 PM
Matt George @MattGeorgeSAC
Just trade Dame. – 8:25 PM
David Aldridge @davidaldridgedc
Blazers had to take Scoot. Had to. Figure out what’s up with Dame tomorrow. Scoot’s too talented to pass on. – 8:25 PM
Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
So Scoot to Blazers and let the Lillard speculation begin. – 8:21 PM
StatMuse @statmuse
Portland backcourt depth:
Damian Lillard
Scoot Henderson
Anfernee Simons
Shaedon Sharpe
Deep. pic.twitter.com/YHFCnIyGQi8:21 PM
Erik Slater @erikslater_
Portland is on the clock with their chance at Scoot Henderson.
The last month of Damian Lillard speculation has been leading up to this moment. – 8:19 PM
Jason Anderson @JandersonSacBee
Scoot Henderson tells ESPN that Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox and Stephen Curry are among the players he most wants to test himself against in the NBA. – 5:21 PM
Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
“I think this year is probably the most serious approach [Damian Lillard] is probably taking to ultimately decided what he’s going to do”.
@ChrisBHaynes shares his thoughts on how significant tonight’s 3rd overall pick is for the Blazers and Lillard.
🔊siriusxm.us/NBAdraft23 pic.twitter.com/PSXwVEumPW2:45 PM
Dave Early @DavidEarly
Sixers running it back if Bucks lose 1 of Middleton or Lopez, and Dame #staysloyal in Por. vs.
Sixers running it back if Bucks stay pat and Heat get Dame. pic.twitter.com/ttlAApPTSN2:20 PM
Wes Goldberg @wcgoldberg
With a few hours before the draft, here’s my final Miami Heat draft notebook on Miami’s shifting perspective on the draft, Damian Lillard reports and more lingering thoughts.
allucanheat.com/2023/06/22/mia…12:32 PM
Aaron J. Fentress @AaronJFentress
Trail Blazers must do right by Damian Lillard: Blazer Focused podcast with @CraigBirnbach
The Blazers will face some tough decisions during Thursday night’s draft. We go through options and what each would mean in regards to Lillard’s future.
oregonlive.com/blazers/2023/0…12:15 PM
Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
Everybody wants Dame to leave Portland way more than Dame wants to leave Portland. – 11:37 AM

More on this storyline

Lillard appears to be in control of his future in Portland, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who said on the network’s draft coverage that the Blazers will only consider moving Lillard if he asks for a trade (hat tip to Real GM). “Damian Lillard has a decision to make,” Wojnarowski said. “… If he decides he wants a trade, I think the organization will accommodate him. But they don’t want to trade him.” Woj adds that the Blazers front office believes Henderson is more valuable than any return they could have gotten through a trade. -via Hoops Rumors / June 23, 2023
General manager Joe Cronin said he had a “long talk” with Lillard on Tuesday about ways to improve the team, tweets Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report. Cronin said Henderson “has a chance to be a transcendent player” and stated that he doesn’t believe Lillard is closer to leaving because of the team’s draft decisions. “He’s probably being more vocal than ever, but I don’t look at that as a negative,” Cronin said (Twitter link). -via Hoops Rumors / June 23, 2023
Chris Haynes: Damian Lillard has not had any recent communication with the Portland Trail Blazers involving the draft, free agency or his future, league sources tell @NBAonTNT, @BleacherReport. -via Twitter @ChrisBHaynes / June 23, 2023

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