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Blazers’ Damian Lillard Wants to Spend Entire Career with Team, Talks Playing with CJ McCollum

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Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard had been the subject of trade rumors this offseason and will likely to be as the 2018-2019 season get underway, but he would prefer to stay with the Blazers for his entire career, according to The Athletic’s Michael Scotta.

“That would be an honor to be a lifetime Blazer,” Damian Lillard said at the NBA 2K launch in New York.

“Not a lot of guys get to play for one organization for their entire career. Obviously, I love playing for the Blazers. I love living in the city. I feel like I’ve established a connection with the people and the culture of the city just as much as I’ve done on the basketball court, so that’s important. But, as we know, it’s a business and a lot of times organizations have other plans, and sometimes players change their stance on that. But to be a lifetime Blazer, that would be great. I’m all on board for it.”

Lillard also enjoys playing with his close friend and teammate CJ McCollum, and knows that their chemistry to key to the success of the team while also realizing the Blazers need more than that to win.

“I think as far as me and CJ, our friendship is so strong that it allows us to play really well together on the court, and we get our job done every night,” Lillard continued. “But when you talk about winning the championship and competing in the playoffs against teams like Golden State, Houston and San Antonio and all those guys, it’s a group effort. We’ve all got to be able to count on each other to compete at that level. Our team, we’ve got a lot of guys that care and a lot of guys that work hard. We’ve just got to keep improving.”

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs’ Tristan Thompson Out 2-4 Weeks

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without center Tristan Thompson for two-to-four weeks with a sprained left foot, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Thompson exited Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks during the third quarter after he landed awkwardly on the foot of Bucks’ guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Thompson, 27, is averaging 12 points and 11.6 rebounds per game this season for Cleveland.

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Chicago Bulls

Bulls’ Zach Lavine Meets Privately with Jim Boylen

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Amid the division within the Chicago Bulls organization between new head coach Jim Boylen, who took over recently for the fired Fred Hoiberg, and a number of players on the roster, has taken another turn.

According to ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Ramona Shelbourne, Bulls guard Zach LaVine spoke with Boylen one-on-one following the players boycotting of Sunday’s practice imposed by Boylen, which they felt was excessive.

“You just want to be real with people,” LaVine said, per the report. “There shouldn’t be any clouds. I think of myself as one of the leaders on the team. I just wanted to voice my opinion to them.”

“This is a business, this isn’t a dictatorship. We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice.”

Boylen has said that he has spoken with the team regarding the purpose of the practice on Sunday, but it is clear that the dysfunction runs deep in the organization.

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Eastern Conference

Knicks Could Trade Enes Kanter

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Enes Kanter’s days as a member of the New York Knicks could be coming to a close as the veteran big man could be traded by the Knicks ahead of this year’s NBA trade deadline, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

If they choose not to trade him, the Knicks could renounce him during the offseason to maximize their cap space so that they could be major players in free agency next summer.

“If the Knicks are going free-agent shopping in July, they will likely do it without Kanter,” Marks speculated. “The impending free agent has a $27.9 million cap hold, and the only clear path for New York to create max room would be to renounce Kanter or let him walk in the summer.

The question leading into the deadline: Will the front office decide to maximize Kanter’s trade value now or keep the center as an insurance policy if they miss out on their free-agent targets?”

Kanter has posted 14.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game for New York this season.

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