Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers are expected to come to terms over the summer on a four-year, $191 million supermax contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Lillard would officially qualify for the supermax if he’s voted to one of the three All-NBA Teams, which is virtually a lock for the four-time All-Star. Lillard has two years and approximately $62 million remaining on his current deal. The extension would put him under contract for the next six years, and he’d be 34 years old by the time the deal expires, perhaps solidifying his status as arguably the greatest Trail Blazer of all time.
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According to rival executives, a new pact for Lillard would almost certainly include a player option, something the guard bypassed on his previous deal. “We’ll focus on the [contract] later,” Lillard told Yahoo Sports after the Blazers’ 119-117 Game 4 overtime loss to Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
The signs are pointing toward Lillard being interested in a Blazers extension offer this summer. Unlike other stars such as Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Anthony Davis, who asked for trades instead of signing the supermax, Lillard has sent signals that he’s interested in locking up a quarter of a billion in the days leading up to his 29th birthday in July. In the wake of the Jusuf Nurkic injury, which reminded everyone how unpredictable the game can be, it makes a lot of sense.
There’s some uncertainty with the Blazers and their ownership situation. Though nothing firm has been announced, with Paul Allen’s death there is a possibility the team could be sold, which could change everything. Just last season, Lillard had a meeting with Allen to discuss the direction of the franchise, which was a little unsettling to the fan base. That said, these days Lillard is feeling very settled. Whatever frustrations he talked to Allen about have calmed, sources report, and he’s very comfortable with his commitment to the Blazers. There are no Lillard concerns about ownership uncertainty right now, I’m told.
Marc Stein: Based on the latest cap projections: Anthony Davis five-year extension will approach $127 million; Damian Lillard’s valued at $139 million.
Marc J. Spears: Damian Lillard’s maximum contract extension with Portland is expected to be between $125 million and $129 million, source told Yahoo Sports.
Marc J. Spears: Damian Lillard’s five-year, $120 million max extension deal with Blazers is getting “closer” to getting agreed to, source told Yahoo Sports.
Sam Amick: Damian Lillard’s extension with Blazers is done, I’m told: designated player max between five years $125-29 million. A payday in Portland.
Shams Charania: Portland, Damian Lillard negotiating a 5-year, approximate $129 million max deal that could include fifth-year option, source tells RealGM.
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard are nearing agreement on a five-year max extension with in excess of $120 million
Sources told Stein that Portland plans to be very aggressive in July in trying to convince star guard Damian Lillard to commit to a five-year max extension in the $120 million range.
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May 26, 2022 | 9:03 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN’s NBA Draft Analyst Mike Schmitz is finalizing a deal to become an assistant GM with the Portland Trail Blazers, sources tell ESPN. Schmitz will play a significant role with new GM Joe Cronin in leading the Blazers’ domestic and international scouting departments.
Schmitz is expected to remain with ESPN through the June 23 NBA Draft, and formally begin his duties with Portland in July. The Blazers have the seventh overall pick in 2022 Draft. Schmitz, 32, has been a draft analyst for ESPN since 2017, and worked previously for DraftExpress and as a video coordinator with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA’s G League in 2012-2013.
In the aftermath of the elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, the Miami Heat used a pre-game moment to urge fans to contact U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, both Florida Republicans, “demanding their support for common sense gun laws” — and telling them they can “make change at the ballot box.” Rubio, who is up for re-election this fall, didn’t like it. He took to Twitter on Thursday, lambasting the NBA for “politicizing a horrific tragedy in America.”
“The Heat urges you to contact your state senators by calling 202-224-3121 to leave a message demanding their support for common sense gun laws. You can also make change at the ballot box. Visit heat.com/vote to register and let your voice be heard this fall,” the statement said. Many fans could be heard cheering as the announcement was made.
May 26, 2022 | 8:27 pm EDT Update
Melissa Rohlin: Steve Kerr on the reaction he’s received to his comments on the mass shootings. “I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me, most asking what they can do… What I’m asking people to do is get involved in their local communities…call your senators.”
Callie Caplan: Steve Kerr has encouraged others to call their reps since his viral comment on Uvalde: “I have lots of friends who are Democrats and lots of friends who are Republicans. All I know is they all want gun violence to go away, so we just need to get our public servants to respond.”