National Basketball Association

Report: Damian Lillard, Blazers working toward supermax deal

lillard_reax_white_0Damian Lillard has often said he wants to be known as one of the greatest and longest-tenured players in Portland Trail Blazers history. The team is apparently on the cusp of doing what it can to make those words come true.

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Blazers and Lillard are working toward agreement on a supermax deal that will pay Lillard $196 million over four seasons. Lillard is currently under contract through the 2020-21 season after he signed a five-year contract extension in 2015.

 

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports Lillard and the team have agreed to the deal, which will include a player option for $54.3 million in its final year.

In the 2018-19 season, Lillard spearheaded the Blazers’ run to the Western Conference finals, the team’s first appearance in that playoff round since 2000. Portland was swept by the Golden State Warriors in that series, but not even that could undermine his standout season with the Blazers.

Lillard was named All-NBA Second Team, marking the fourth straight season he has made an All-NBA team. He joins Clyde Drexler as the only Portland players to be named to an All-NBA team four times. Lillard is the seventh Trail Blazer to be named All-NBA, joining Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas, Jim Paxson, Drexler, Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Overall, Lillard averaged 25.8 points (44.4% FG, 36.9% 3-PT, 91.2% FT), 4.6 rebounds, a career-high 6.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 35.5 minutes in 80 games (all starts) for the Trail Blazers. Portland went 53-29 and finished with the third seed in the Western Conference. He finished the year ranked ninth in the NBA in points per game, tied for 11th in assists per game, third in free throw percentage, sixth in minutes per game, fourth in free throws made and sixth in three-pointers made.

The team’s on-court leader, Lillard earned his fourth All-Star nod during the regular season. He averaged 33 points in the opening round against the Thunder, but his production fell against the Denver Nuggets in the West semis and the Warriors in the West finals when he was double-teamed.

Lillard said the past few seasons of relative stability — after four of Portland’s five starters moved on to other teams in 2015 — have bonded the team.

“Each year we’ve come back with the right attitude,” Lillard said after the season ended. “We’ve been able to stick together through a lot of adversity and I think just what we’ve hung our hats on, what we’ve believed in, our culture, the togetherness, we’ve been able to truly build on that. And I think we should be encouraged.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

NBA.com

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