Blazers Asked Damian Lillard To Sit Out Final 10 Games Of 2022-23 Season To Help Improve Lottery Odds

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Trade Rumors, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat
NBA Analysis Network

The Portland Trail Blazers asked Damian Lillard to sit out the final 10 games of the 2022-23 season to help the franchise improve its lottery odds, according to NBA insider Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report. Lillard reluctantly acquiesced to being shut down, citing a “calf injury.”

The Blazers went 33-49 last season. They ended up with the third overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and selected Scoot Henderson.

Lillard appeared in 58 games in 2022-23. He averaged 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists while shooting 46.3% from the field, 37.1% from beyond the arc and 91.4% from the free-throw line.

One of the best players in NBA history, Lillard requested a trade from the Blazers to the Miami Heat on July 1. However, Portland refused to engage with Miami.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers Updates

“How this summer played out behind the scenes definitely left a sour taste in my mouth,” Lillard told Haynes. “But it doesn’t change the amazing experiences I’ve had with the Trail Blazers and this city. I’ll always cherish this place. This is my home. I’ll always live here regardless.”

Lillard averaged 25.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 769 games with the Blazers. He’s the franchise leader in points, 3-point field goals, free throws, points per game, player efficiency rating, offensive win shares and offensive box plus/minus.

The Blazers traded Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team deal with the Phoenix Suns. When the deal was announced, one of the first text messages Lillard received was from Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. It read, “Let’s get this f–king championship.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers Updates

“I’m just letting it sink in,” Lillard said. “I’m just trying to process it all. It’s a lot to think about. Never been in this situation before.”

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