“If It Takes Months, It Takes Months.” Trail Blazers GM Joe Cronin Speaks For First Time Since Lillard Trade Request

By 750 The Game Staff

Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin spoke to media on Monday afternoon in Las Vegas to deliver his first on-the-record comments following Damian Lillard’s official trade request on July 1st.

Cronin took responsibility for failing to build a contending roster around Lillard, as Cronin himself stated was the goal of the franchise even after the selection of Scoot Henderson with the third overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft.

“The effort being there — which it was — that’s one thing,” Cronin said of trying to make trades and other moves to satisfy Lillard. “But actually following through and getting the result is a whole other. And to that extent, I do feel like I failed Dame.”

As for where negotiations stand with prospective suitors for Lillard, Cronin was understandably mute.

But he did offer an intriguing line about the timeline to get a Lillard trade done, and it may not be anytime soon.

“Patience is critical,” Cronin said. “We’re going to be patient. We’re going to do what’s best for our team. And we’re going to see how this lands. And if takes months, it takes months.”

That last note — a deal could take months — was certainly intentional.

Cronin seems to be content waiting as long as he needs to find the right deal both for the team and for Lillard. Sacrificing return value on an all-time great is not a discussion for the Blazers GM.

Cronin also talked about why he remains hopeful Lillard could change his mind on the trade request and stay in Portland.

“I haven’t lost hope, just because I understand this league is complicated and things change very quickly,” Cronin said. “In this league we constantly have to stay nimble. I don’t know what the future holds, I don’t know what will end up happening here. Just knowing that I won’t be surprised if something different happens than we were originally expecting.”

Check out Cronin’s full comments thanks to our partners at KGW Channel 8.