By 750 THE GAME STAFF
Damian Lillard and his agent Aaron Goodwin met in-person Monday with Trail Blazers brass including general manager Joe Cronin.
Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report reported news of the meeting between the parties in the wake of Portland selecting Scoot Henderson with the third overall pick in the NBA draft as well as making selections at No. 23 and No. 43 overall rather than finalizing any trades to acquire veteran talent.
The dance between Blazers leadership and Camp Lillard has been recast into the public spotlight, and Cronin stepped into that light with a statement Monday evening following the meeting designed to discuss the direction of the franchise.
“I met with Dame and Aaron Goodwin this afternoon,” Cronin said. “We had a great dialogue. We remain committed to building a winner around Dame.”
It is a familiar refrain: “Committed to building a winner around Dame”. It is far from the first time fans have heard that claim and chances are it won’t be the last.
The Athletic’s Sam Amick revealed in a piece Monday that Lillard wants Cronin to pursue Draymond Green in free-agency which officially begins Friday. Green’s price — he turned down a $27.5 Million player option — is prohibitive for Portland’s current cap situation, making his signing in Rip City unlikely not to mention his strong reported interest in resigning with Golden State.
Toronto’s Pascal Siakam and O.G. Anunoby have also been reportedly on Lillard’s wish list but similarly pose challenges for the Trail Blazers to acquire via trade.
All eyes turn to Cronin and Portland’s front office to find a way to land established, proven talent in the coming weeks of free agency and the trade market in order to appease Lillard. The franchise’s all-team leading scorer has said on multiple occasions his desire to play on a contending team in the Western Conference and that he doesn’t have time to wait.
Portland Trail Blazers GM Joe Cronin issues statement on meeting with Damian Lillard: “I met with Dame and Aaron Goodwin this afternoon. We had a great dialogue. We remain committed to building a winner around Dame.”
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 27, 2023