With their season almost over, the Portland Trail Blazers could be making a decision for their future.
The organization is reportedly considering sitting out superstar Damian Lillard for the remainder of the season while he heals from a calf injury.
The Blazers are 3½ games away from a play-in tournament berth with nine games to go. It would take almost a miracle to get inside.
Lillard missed Friday’s game against the Chicago Bulls.
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The 32-year-old is having the best season of his career, averaging 32.2 points on 46.3% shooting, both career highs.
But Portland hasn’t been able to take the next step. Lillard has delivered some memorable playoff moments with a pair of buzzer-beaters advancing his team to the next round, but the Blazers won a total of four playoff series during Lillard’s 10 seasons leading up to 2022-23, coming to the Western Conference finals in 2019. .
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Lillard has stayed loyal to the team that drafted him with the sixth overall pick in 2012 rather than looking for a team built for consistent, deep playoff runs.
But he is not getting any younger.
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Lillard recently signed an extension that would keep him in Portland through the 2027 season.