The Portland Trail Blazers have traded for Jerami Grant, re-signed Anfrenee Simons, re-signed Jusuf Nurkic, picked up the guaranteed year for Josh Hart, and poached Gary Payton II away from the defending champs. Not a bad offseason in Portland.
Plus, they are offering Damian Lillard $100 million over two years to be the star of this team.
But Lillard and his camp want to keep the pressure up on the Trail Blazers, hence this sourced note from Sam Amick of The Athletic.
There are moves Lillard - and Blazers fans - can question. For example, holding onto the No. 7 pick and using it to draft a raw player who will need time to develop in Shaedon Sharpe. The rookie has the tools to be special but didn't play a minute at Kentucky and is years away - not the move for a win-now team trying to convince an almost 32-year-old superstar to sign up for a couple more years.
However, Lillard could not ask much more of Trail Blazers GM Joe Cronin. Given the tools and timeline he had to work with, this is a good job on a fast turnaround. These Trail Blazers are not contenders, but if Lillard is 100% back to being his vintage self this can be a playoff team and a tough out.
Good luck finding anyone around the league who thinks Lillard is going to leave that money on the table - the time to look for a new home was when teams had money and flexibility, not after they spent it all over the last 24 hours. Lillard is going to grab that $100 million bag. However, if this team disappoints, he may ask to take that bag to a new franchise in the future.
For now, expect him to remain a Trail Blazer.
Check out more on the Trail Blazers
Report: Trail Blazers re-signing Jusuf Nurkic (four years, $70M) Report: Gary Payton II agrees to three-year, $28 million deal with Trail... Report: Trail Blazers, Anfernee Simons agree to four-year, $100 million contract
Lillard camp keeps pressure on Trail Blazers, latest reports says re-signing not "sure thing." originally appeared on NBCSports.com