NBA Rumor: Portland Trail Blazers Turmoil?

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Tommy Beer: “In recent weeks, sources say Lillard has grown frustrated with the team’s play and tension appears to be on the rise between the players and Billups.” sources say Lillard has grown frustrated with the team’s play and tension appears to be on the rise between the players and Billups.” OGToni3: Lmao when will y’all learn to not report this shit if @Dame_Lillard ain’t said it directly ? Damian Lillard: These mfs love drama too damn much.

NBA GMs forming association to support executives amid Blazers investigation

NBA general managers are working to finalize the formation of a professional association that would collectively support executives with access to legal defense funds, lawyer referrals and public relations professionals, sources told ESPN. Over the past several months, the league’s GMs have formed a steering committee to create a constitution, opened an LLC and informed the league office of their intentions to form a group similar in purpose and structure to the National Basketball Coaches Association, sources said.

While these steps originated in March and predate the organizational investigation into Portland Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, that situation has further convinced front-office executives of the need for such an association, sources said. Dozens of executives told ESPN that Portland’s internal probe has stoked fears that organizations can make decisions to fire top basketball executives for any number of traditional reasons — team performance, personality conflicts, differing philosophies — and search simultaneously for ways to pursue “cause” violations in contracts.

After years of unwavering loyalty, Lillard has begun acting on his frustration with Portland’s inability to return to the deeper rounds of the playoffs. His on-the-record support for Kidd was something that Blazers officials were not expecting, sources said, until it was published and broadcast on social media. When Lillard’s comments surfaced, several Portland staffers were surprised his public support was not for former Blazers assistant David Vanterpool, whom he previously endorsed for Minnesota’s head job.

Otherwise, it seems Lillard was organically involved in the Blazers’ search, which does not appear to truly have considered the “20-25 candidates” that general manager Neil Olshey asserted it would. From the beginning stages of replacing Terry Stotts, Billups was always a name that Lillard and Olshey aligned on, sources said, and the Clippers assistant has received nothing but rave reviews around the league during his first year on an NBA bench.

Jusuf Nurkic unhappy with role with Blazers?

(Jusuf) Nurkic hasn’t been happy with his role there. He was asked at the end of their season if he wanted to be back next season and he replied, “In the right situation, yes.” The follow-up to that was what’s the right situation? He said, “We’ll see. I don’t know yet because this is not it.” He has a non-guaranteed $12 million salary next season and people around Nurkic think Portland is going to keep him at that salary.

Lillard is a nice player. A superb offensive player. And he’s carried a Blazers roster that is marginal outside of guard CJ McCollum. But if he’s one of the five best players in the NBA, then the Blazers first-round sweep in the NBA Playoffs is a bigger catastrophe than we previously imagined. Also, it would signal that Portland GM Neil Olshey not getting Lillard a supporting cast should be elevated from sin to cardinal sin. “I hear that he is asking for another meeting,” an NBA front-office source told me on Thursday.
4 years ago via ESPN

According to sources, the meeting was held without knowledge of anyone else in the organization. Allen notified the Trail Blazers’ basketball operations and business branch afterward. In the weeks leading up to the meeting, Allen feared Lillard would request a trade, sources said, but a trade request was not made. The two-time All-Star made it clear, though, that he has championship aspirations and wanted to fulfill those lofty goals during the remaining years of his prime window.
5 years ago via ESPN

After suffering a challenging, 115-107 loss to Milwaukee, Ezeli, in street clothes, addressed the team in the locker room with a stern speech centered on playing with urgency, sources told ESPN. And then two games later, after a crushing defeat in Memphis, Ezeli once again ventured into giving a team speech. But this time, he was cut short. McCollum interrupted Ezeli in mid-sentence and told him that was enough, sources told ESPN. Portland was in the midst of an emotionally draining December, losing 11 of 13 games. Players were desperately pouring out every ounce of effort trying to change the trajectory of the season, and being lectured by someone who wasn’t even playing wasn’t received favorably.
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