– ‣ Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard expressed openness to returning to the Portland Trail Blazers in the future, emphasizing his current focus on winning with the Bucks but acknowledging his deep connection to Portland.
– ‣ Lillard’s significant contract details were highlighted, including his upcoming two-year, $112.91 million contract with the Bucks, running through the 2026-27 season, and his past contract with the Blazers.
– ‣ The emotional significance of Lillard potentially playing against the Trail Blazers in Portland was discussed, showcasing his enduring love for the city and the team, despite his professional move to the Bucks.
Damian Lillard, Rip City’s favorite son, returns to face the Trail Blazers: ‘I think it will be emotional because I care’
I caught up with the former Blazers star Monday in Denver to discuss the trade, playing with the Bucks and his endless love for PDX.
— Aaron J. Fentress (@AaronJFentress)
Damian Lillard, the Milwaukee Bucks guard, spilled the beans in a recent chat. This was right after their Monday practice. He hinted at a possible return to the Portland Trail Blazers down the line. “I see there being a time where I play for the Trail Blazers,” he mentioned. But, he was quick to add, “It won’t be right now.”
Currently, he’s with the Bucks. And he’s all in. Winning is the goal, and distractions are a no-go. “And I was traded, and I’m all in to try to accomplish that here,” he stated. The Blazers, at the time of his trade, weren’t exactly in championship mode. Lillard wants to chase that dream while he’s still at the top of his game.
On Twitter, Aaron J. Fentress shared a touching note. It was about Lillard’s return to face the Trail Blazers. “I think it will be emotional because I care,” Lillard said. They caught up in Denver to chat about his move, his new life with the Bucks, and his undying love for PDX.
Lillard’s financials are no joke either. He’s looking at a two-year, $112.91 million contract starting in the 2025-26 season. By the end of it, in 2026-27, he could be pocketing as much as $58.27 million. His current deal? A hefty four-year, $176.26 million contract signed with Portland back in July 2019.
The trade that sent him to Milwaukee was part of a three-team shuffle. The Bucks got Lillard. In return, Portland welcomed Deandre Ayton, Jrue Holiday, Toumani Camara, a 2029 unprotected first-round draft pick, and swap rights for 2028 and 2030. Phoenix snagged Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little, and Keon Johnson. Meanwhile, in a separate deal, the Celtics traded Robert Williams III and Malcolm Brogdon to Portland for Holiday, plus a couple of first-round picks.
Could Lillard head back to Portland? If things don’t pan out with the Bucks under new coach Doc Rivers, who knows? Maybe he’ll miss home too much. After all, his roots are deep in Portland. Drafted sixth overall by the Trail Blazers in 2012, the California native has made a significant mark there.
At 33, Lillard has earned seven All-Star and All-NBA selections with the Blazers. He even dropped a career-high 71 points against the Rockets last season. Not to mention, he’s an Olympic gold medalist and was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. All his major achievements have been with the Blazers or the Olympic team.
And now, an emotional homecoming looms. Lillard is set to face the Trail Blazers in Portland, wearing a Bucks uniform. “It’ll always be an emotional thing,” he confessed to Aaron J. Fentress of *The Oregonian*. He never planned to leave the Blazers. That love for Portland? It’s not going anywhere. But sometimes, tough choices are part of the game. Despite what many think, a Blazers comeback isn’t off the table.