Damian Lillard could force his way out of Portland after backlash

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Trade Rumors, Celtics
NBA Analysis Network

There are two NBA head coaching hires that received substantial backlash for their concerning pasts — Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks and Chauncey Billups of the Portland Trail Blazers. Some of the reaction was focused on Damian Lillard after it was reported he allegedly supported the Billups hire.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, the ‘enormous backlash’ from the Portland Trail Blazers’ decision to hire Chauncey Billups as the team’s next head coach could push Damian Lillard ‘out the door.’

“The enormous backlash from the Portland Trail Blazers’ process to hire a new coach and his concerns on whether a championship contender can be built have become factors that may push the franchise player — Damian Lillard — out the door, league sources told Yahoo Sports.”

Lillard has remained loyal to Portland in large due to the tremendous fan base. But over the last few days, he’s seen some of those same fans attacking him on social media for a pending coaching hire he played no part in consummating, sources said.

It seems as though Lillard understands a championship contender is not going to be built by the Trail Blazers. Now, with the fans that have supported him for years having criticism makes it not worthwhile for him to stay with Portland.

READ MORE: NBA Rumors: This Blazers-Nuggets trade teams up Damian Lillard and Nikola Jokic

Part of the concern from Lillard’s perspective is that Portland’s coaching search occurred with candidates were not suggested by him. Now, he’s receiving criticism from Trail Blazers fans.

The coaching search was conducted by Neil Olshey, the team’s president of basketball operations. None of the candidates who were interviewed were from suggestions from Lillard, sources said.

Sometimes, there is frustration that builds up over years for a star player. Even the top players who appear most unlikely to force their way out of their current situation could end up being among the names that end up making an aggressive push for a trade.

READ MORE: NBA Rumors: 3 teams who could put together best trade package for Damian Lillard

There will be no shortage of teams who will make a push to trade for Damian Lillard if he ends up forcing the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers. It would take a massive haul in order to get something done, but as each day passes, the possibility of it occurring seems increasingly likely.

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