Damian Lillard is again in the news. He wants to leave the Portland Trail Blazers for the Miami Heat, but the Blazers won’t let him.
NBA player Austin Rivers strongly criticized the practice of superstar players asking for trades to specific teams even when they still have many years left on their contracts. He pointed to past examples involving James Harden and Ben Simmons to support his point.
Austin Rivers on the Damian Lillard trade saga
“If you were a free agent, then you could choose where you were gonna go. That’s the business. But when you’re not and sign a deal man, that’s a part of the business. If you get traded somewhere, you gotta go play. This started with James [Harden] and Ben [Simmons] and all these guys doing this sh*t. It’s bad for the league,” Rivers said.
"If you were a free agent, then you could choose where you were gonna go… This started with James [Harden] and Ben [Simmons] and all these guys doing this sh*t. It's bad for the league."
Austin Rivers on Damian Lillard's trade demand
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) July 24, 2023
Austin Rivers said that when superstar players demand trades to specific teams even with years left on their contracts, it has led to new rules that make team owners spend less money. He also mentioned that Damian Lillard’s situation is different from what James Harden and Ben Simmons did, so it’s not fair to treat them the same way.
Lillard doing the same thing like James Harden and Ben Simmons?
Damian Lillard played for the Blazers for 12 seasons and was very loyal. However, the team didn’t do well in the Conference Finals during his time there. Now, he wants to leave, but the trade offer from the Miami Heat isn’t very good, so it’s causing some issues.
Harden and Simmons left their teams in a more angry way, while Lillard has been loyal but wants to go to a specific team. Getting a trade package as good as what the Nets got for Harden in 2022 will be challenging for the Blazers.