Every NBA player is trying to make their team better for the 2017–18 season, but Damian Lillard has a unique approach that might help him stand out from his peers. He’s throwing himself fully behind Portland’s retooling in hopes of making it back to the Western Conference Finals and continuing his legacy as one of the best players on this generation.

The “Damian Lillard trade Lakers” is a move that has been speculated for quite some time. Damian Lillard has put his NBA legacy on the line by throwing all of his weight behind the Blazers retool. Read more in detail here: damian lillard trade lakers.

Damian Lillard Puts His NBA Legacy on the Line by Throwing Entire Weight Behind Blazers Retool

All of the “get away from the grind” memes are fine and dandy. However, Damian Lillard’s decision to tie his wagon to the Portland Trail Blazers’ retooling might eventually define his career.

The Blazers have been among the most active clubs in the NBA trade market leading up to the Feb. 10 deadline, completing a pair of deals that have radically changed the roster’s makeup. After selling two-way wing Norman Powell to the Los Angeles Clippers last week, Portland moved Lillard’s longtime backcourt companion CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.

The Blazers seem to still view Lillard as the franchise’s focal point, and Dame appears to be on board with the alterations. However, by supporting a retool, the star point guard risks remaining with a Portland squad that faces several obstacles this summer.

The Blazers made moves in order to build a squad around Damian Lillard.

The goal for Portland right now is to completely restructure their squad around Damian Lillard. Portland acquired a $21 million trade exception today, $60 million in salary cap space this summer, and several draft selections and assets in deals with the Pels and Clippers. Instead of retreating, the strategy is to go after top-tier talent today.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2022

For years, the Blazers relied on Lillard and McCollum’s backcourt to succeed. They also moved quickly to sign Robert Covington and Norman Powell.

None of Portland’s moves were successful. Joe Cronin, the interim general manager, made the decision to pivot before the NBA trade deadline. What seems to be a deconstruction, though, is really a strategy to rebuild the roster around Dame.

By trading McCollum and Powell, the Blazers got off a pair of lucrative long-term contracts. Per ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, the McCollum deal created a $21 million trade exception, and Portland could have up to $60 million in cap space.

There’s more to it than that. The Blazers (21-34) hold lottery protections on the Chicago Bulls’ 2022 first-round selection. Portland would retain that choice, which is currently predicted at No. 8. They also received a first-round pick from the Pelicans, which they will get if it falls between the Nos. 5 and 14 slots. It’s highly likely that New Orleans will fail to qualify for the play-in round and will lose out to Portland.

In other words, the Blazers are expected to have the salary flexibility and draft compensation to make significant moves and surround Lillard with impact players. Dame, for one, believes in the process.

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard looks on before an NBA game against the Orlando Magic

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard looks on before an NBA game against the Orlando Magic On February 8, 2022, Damian Lillard looks on before a game against the Orlando Magic | Steph Chambers/Getty Images

With Damian Lillard out with an abdominal injury, the Blazers aren’t in much of a position to make a serious postseason run. As a result, Lillard is at ease with the club making moves with the future in mind.

Dame told Casey Holdahl of NBA.com that he understood Portland was at a crossroads. He expressed his unwavering support for both Joe Cronin and Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups.

“The Portland Trail Blazer has a special place in my heart. I’m hoping to win. When I return to play, I know I’ll be at my best since I’ve devised a strategy. And I want our team to be a good match for that. Chauncey Billups is one of my favorite athletes. I adore Chauncey; we have a wonderful rapport, and I believe he’ll continue to develop into the head coach he aspires to be. I’m also a big Joe Cronin fan. In his position, I believe it is necessary to be courageous and do bold things, to do what you believe is right and to stick by it. Our strategy, he says, is to construct a successful club rather than rebuild. I believe his word since we had a previous connection prior to his being GM.”

–NBA.com, via Damian Lillard

Lillard said that he is “at peace” with the situation. He wants to observe how Cronin “executes” the retooling strategy by letting the chips fall where they may.

Portland has the resources to provide Lillard with a talented supporting cast. Nonetheless, the forthcoming offseason’s struggles may have an influence on Lillard’s future and overall legacy.

Portland has a lot of work ahead of it.

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It won’t be simple for the Blazers to retool and develop around Lillard, even if they have the means to do it.

Given the organization’s slow development in recent seasons and its status as a small-market club, convincing imminent free agents to join with Portland might be challenging. The rumored desire for a large contract by Notre Dame might influence future cap issues.

The Blazers may try to acquire a star by trading draft assets, but any club entering discussions would almost certainly want young talent. In that way, Portland is a bit of a shambles. After the McCollum deal, it would almost likely prefer to maintain Anfernee Simons long-term, and Nassir Little was on the verge of breaking out before suffering a season-ending injury.

It would seem that packaging selections with a young player is tantamount to putting one’s future on the line. Given that Lillard will be 32 this summer, it’s a pretty risky proposition.

Before the NBA trade deadline, the Blazers are already seeking to make additional deals. They’re still interested in Detroit Pistons winger Jerami Grant, according to reports. Is Grant, on the other hand, a star-caliber player who can help Portland win a championship?

In the next months, Portland will be confronted with a slew of issues. Unless they sign him to a long-term contract, the Blazers may always attempt to sell Lillard if they don’t succeed this summer.

One thing is certain: Damian Lillard stays strong in his devotion to the team that chose him in 2012. Is it possible that this will ruin his NBA reputation? We’ll have to wait and see.

RELATED: The Lakers’ hopes of landing Damian Lillard are dwindling as the Blazers face an inevitable rebuild after the CJ McCollum trade.

Damian Lillard has been a staple in the NBA for years now, and this season it’s clear that he is working to put his legacy on the line by throwing his weight behind the Blazers’ retool. Reference: damian lillard trade nuggets.

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