Damian Lillard has been the white whale for Sixers fans for a while now. Going back to when Ben Simmons first quit on the team, Dame was the guy Sixers fans seemed to want the most.
The problem was, Dame is a bit of a tease. He would suggest he wants out of Portland one day. But then on the next day, he would publicly recommit to the Trail Blazers. It turned out that he was never moved from Portland. The Sixers pivoted to James Harden once he asked out of Brooklyn, and that seemed to have been that.
But now, James Harden may be out of Philly. Like Dame often is, Harden is being wishy-washy. His camp is putting out reports that he wants to go back to Houston, but also that he wants to stay in Philly. After his most recent performance in the playoffs, many Sixers fans will prefer that he leaves for Houston. But if he does, that will leave the Sixers in need of a PG. And so the Damian Lillard rumors crop up again.
He gave us some hope after the Sixers were eliminated when he tweeted about how much he loves the Sixers roster. But his most recent comments are going to hurt Sixers fans. He went on Showtime’s The Last Stand and spoke about whether or not he wants to be traded. As per usual, he was noncommittal. He said he wants to be a contender in Portland. But he did say that if they can’t build a contending team, there might have to be a different conversation.
"We got an opportunity, asset-wise, to build a team that can compete. ... If we can’t do that … then it’s a separate conversation we would have to have”— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 7, 2023
Dame on his future with the Blazers 👀
(via @SHOsports, @BCusterTV) pic.twitter.com/TpHUu2deXu
So he may finally be willing to ask out. The issue for us comes from where he wants to go. Many Sixers fans assumed he would like to play here. But at least when he was on The Last Stand, he had different teams in mind.
“Miami is the obvious one. Bam is my dog. Brooklyn is another obvious one because Mikail Bridges is my dog too. Both have capable rosters.”
The Celtics and the Knicks also came up. The one team missing is the Sixers. Now does that mean he does not want to play here? No. But it does mean he has different destinations at the front of his mind.
The Dame Lillard stuff may literally be our Moby Dick. We obsess over it, but it’s an end goal that will only end in sadness. The Sixers should 100% be in on him if he becomes available. But for the sake of our mental health, it may be better if we focus on more realistic options, and then just be pleasantly surprised if it somehow does happen.