The writing may be on the wall for the season of Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.
NBA insider Chris Haynes said on this week’s episode of the ‘#thisleague UNCUT!’ podcast that the Blazers may be closing to shutting down the seven-time All-Star guard Lillard for the season due to a right calf injury.
“Dame probably has five or six more games left before Portland probably shuts him down for the season,” said Haynes, who later added that “[i]f these next five, six games, they keep struggling, I will suspect… at that point, it’s probably not worth it.
Haynes’ word carries weight in this situation. He is known to be well-connected with Lillard and the Blazers, often times serving as their direct channel of communication.
The 33-year-old Lillard’s calf issue has kept him on the injury report for much of the month of March. With just 13 games remaining on their regular-season schedule, the Blazers hold a sour 31-38 record, one which has them 2.5 games back of a play-in tournament spot.
While Lillard recently signed a huge extension with the Blazers to keep him under contract through at least 2026, this is shaping up to be the second straight season in which Portland will miss a 20-team postseason. This after dudding out in the first round during each of the previous two campaigns.
The current lost season might inevitably fire up another round of summer rumors as to whether or not the still-ringless Lillard might look for more a more consistently-successful organization.