The writing may be on the wall for Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers’ season.
NBA insider Chris Haynes said on this week’s episode of “#thisleague UNCUT!” podcast that the Blazers could shut down to shut down seven-time All-Star Guard Lillard for the season with a right calf injury.
“Dame probably still has five or six games left before Portland probably closes it for the season,” said Haynes, who later added that “[i]In these next five or six games, they’ll continue to struggle, I suspect…at that point, it’s probably not worth it.
Haynes’ word carries weight in this situation. He is known to be well connected with Lillard and the Blazers, often serving as a direct channel of communication.
The 33-year-old Lillard’s calf problem kept him on injury report for much of March. With just 13 games remaining on their regular season schedule, the Blazers hold a sour 31-38 record, one that has them 2.5 games away from a play-in tournament berth.
While Lillard recently signed a huge extension with the Blazers to keep him under contract until at least 2026, this is shaping up to be the second straight season in which Portland will miss a 20-team playoff. This after failing in the first round in each of the previous two campaigns.
The current lost season could inevitably spark another round of summertime rumors about whether or not the still-ringless Lillard might be looking for a more successful organization.