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Damian Lillard Does the Obvious Thing, Agrees to $122 Million Extension
The most important move of the Blazers' offseason
LAS VEGAS—The biggest move of this Trail Blazers' offseason, and the last several, is now a done deal.
The two-year extension worth nearly $122 million that the team was widely expected to offer Damian Lillard, and that he was widely expected to sign, has been agreed to as first reported Friday afternoon by The Athletic.
The money came in a little higher than the previously reported estimate of around $100 million, as a function of the salary cap going up more than expected. The overall deal, combined with the three years remaining on the extension he signed in 2019, puts Lillard in line with the five-year, $270 million extension that two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic signed with the Nuggets earlier this month.
Lillard was never not going to sign the extension; the only question was the timing. Since December's front-office overhaul resulted in a more collaborative basketball-operations structure being put in place, Lillard has been involved in major roster decisions. He was consulted on the teardown moves Joe Cronin made at the trade deadline, and pushed heavily for the trade for his close friend Jerami Grant that happened last month.
Lillard was in a good mood on Thursday night, sitting courtside to watch the Blazers' Summer League opener in Las Vegas and spoke to ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth during the game, detailing his rehab from last season's abdominal surgery and his thoughts on the Grant trade.
News of Lillard's extension broke as the Blazers' off-day practice was wrapping up in one of the side gyms on the UNLV campus. The assembled beat writers actually broke the news to Greg Brown III during his post-practice media availability.
"That's amazing," Brown said when he heard the news. "I'm just glad Dame's around."
So is everyone else in Portland.