Damian Lillard tweets clear message to Trail Blazers fans starting trade rumors: 'Start the petition'
Damian Lillard has a message for Trail Blazers fans who may want the franchise to trade him.
A couple of days after Portland earned the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Lillard responded to someone on Twitter saying they were muting anyone "undervaluing" the team's pick and "insisting on trading Dame."
"If the fans wana trade me ... start the petition and send it in," Lillard tweeted.
If the fans wana trade me … start the petition and send it in 🤷🏽♂️ https://t.co/zOjGRBh8rD— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) May 18, 2023
Lillard then responded to someone else who accused him of trying to get the fans to push him out.
I been on the same time over a decade lol … I’m just saying if the ppl got different wishes 🤷🏽♂️ https://t.co/qqp2qzRsFh— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) May 18, 2023
There's no question that the Trail Blazers have an important summer ahead of them. It would've been an easy decision had they got the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft, but they just missed out on the opportunity to select Victor Wembanyama, who is one of the most hyped prospects in NBA history.
Even though the Trail Blazers are still in a position to draft someone with All-Star potential, Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes reported that the franchise is expected to make the pick available in "an effort to continue building a contending roster" around Lillard.
MORE: Will Trail Blazers trade No. 3 pick to continue building around Damian Lillard?
Lillard is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. In 58 games, he averaged a career-best 32.2 points to go along with 7.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds. Those numbers helped him earn his seventh All-Star selection and seventh All-NBA selection.
Despite Lillard's best efforts, the Trail Blazers finished 13th in the Western Conference standings.
Heading into the 2022-23 season, Lillard said he still sees himself finishing his career with the Trail Blazers and that he's "willing to go out swinging" as long as the franchise is "putting their best foot forward and we're on the same page about doing everything that we can do to win."
After the season, Lillard acknowledged that he and the Trail Blazers could eventually have a decision to make.
Damian Lillard knows it is time for the Blazers to figure out how to win, or some tough conversations will have to be had on both sides#sascast pic.twitter.com/ljXZfwDGpF— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) April 13, 2023
MORE: Damian Lillard rips 'ring culture' in amazing JJ Redick podcast interview
Damian Lillard contract details
Lillard signed a two-year extension with the Trail Blazers in 2022. He has a player option in his contract for the 2026-27 season, at which point he will be 36 years old.
|Damian Lillard contract||$42,492,492||$45,640,084||$48,787,676||$58,545,211||$63,228,828 (PO)||UFA|