Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard
28-Year-Old GuardG
Portland Trail Blazers
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Spectacular as his first four pro campaigns were, Lillard found a way to take it to another level last season, generating career-best numbers in multiple categories. The All-Star point guard posted new high-water marks in points (27.0), rebounds (4.9), shooting percentage (44.4) and free-throw percentage (89.4), while also putting up solid assist numbers (5.9). Despite the Trail Blazers’ season ending in a disappointing and unexpected four-game sweep at the hands of the Pelicans in the conference quarterfinals, expectations will be high in Portland once again for the 2018-19 season, with Lillard naturally remaining the franchise’s centerpiece. Seth Curry was added during the offseason and has a chance to serve as his primary backup at the point, but given Lillard’s iron-man reputation, he’s still likely to average minutes in the mid-30s as he has throughout his career thus far. With the same starting five expected to return, Lillard’s level of offensive responsibility – which led to 19.4 shot attempts per game last season – should also sustain. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $139.89 million contract extension with the Trail Blazers in July of 2015.
Expected to sign supermax
GPortland Trail Blazers
May 21, 2019
Lillard and the Trail Blazers are expected to agree to terms on a four-year, $191 million supermax extension this offseason, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports.
While Lillard and the Blazers fizzled out in four games against Golden State in the West Finals, the four-time All-Star is set to sign a massive contract that will likely keep him in Portland for the duration of his prime years. Lillard -- who's widely expected to make a 2018-19 All-NBA team, which he needs to qualify for the extension -- is still under contract for two more seasons on his current deal, so the $191 extension wouldn't kick in until the start of the 2021-22 season. As a result, Lillard would be committed to the Blazers for the next six years, meaning his next opportunity for a contract wouldn't come until he's 34 years old. Lillard, 28, has never wavered in his stance that he wants to play out his career in Portland, and the supermax would essentially cement his status as the face of the franchise through the middle of the next decade. Lillard is coming off of a season in which he averaged 25.8 points, 6.9 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 3.0 made three-pointers per game.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Lillard signed a five-year, $140 million max contract extension prior to the 2016-17 campaign and while the extra security for his long term future was surely comforting, it didn't slow down his production on the court. He ended up putting together his best offensive performance over five years in the league, shooting 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from the three-point line to give him a career-high 27.0 points. That scoring total was up from 25.1 points per contest a season prior, while his overall field goal percentage increased slightly from 41 percent. In addition to the 27.0 points, Lillard added averages of 4.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.9 three-pointers across 35.9 minutes, with the boards marking a new career high and the three-pointers putting him at eighth in the league. Still, Lillard was left off the NBA All-Star roster for the second year in a row after being selected in both 2014 and 2015, while also being ousted in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. That should only add extra motivation for what is expected to be another huge season for Lillard, who's still only 27 years old and should have his best basketball ahead of him. The Trail Blazers didn't add any big name free agents in the offseason that could threaten Lillard's offensive workload and he's going to have the green light as always to take his shots. He's still one of the top scoring point guards in the league, but his value would increase if he showed improvement in his assist totals (20th in NBA last season). Having Jusuf Nurkic for a full season and an improving C.J. McCollum back could certainly do the trick, so Lillard may have the chance to up his status as a distributor. He'll be locked in as a top-10 point guard and could crack the top-5 if he continues to add more all-around production to his already stellar scoring totals.
The Blazers were expected to be in rebuilding mode in 2015-16 following LaMarcus Aldridge’s departure for the Spurs, but Lillard and to a lesser degree, backcourt mate C.J. McCollum, ensured that wouldn’t be the case, leading the Blazers to the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Without Aldridge around to share the load, Lillard’s usage rate climbed, and that translated to career-high averages in points (25.1 per game) and assists (6.8) along with a franchise-record 229 three-pointers. Had Lillard not suffered from a case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot in late December, which sidelined him for seven games -- the first time he’d missed any games in his four-year career -- his statistical output would have been even more impressive. Perhaps the only downside of Lillard settling in as the franchise player was his decline in shooting accuracy as the season wore on, as the 26-year-old finished with a career-low 41.9 percent mark from the field. The Blazers seem content to deal with some bad shooting nights every now and then from Lillard, who proved fully capable of taking games over when his shot was falling, turning in five 40-point outings across the regular season and playoffs. Even with the Blazers bolstering their roster by adding Evan Turner and Festus Ezeli in free agency and retaining Allen Crabbe, Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard, Lillard isn’t expected to sacrifice many shots during the 2016-17 season, so the team’s hopes will again largely rest on his shoulders. Lillard’s tremendous production in the points, assists and three-pointers categories combined with his historical reliability on the health front should make him a worthy target in the first two rounds of most fantasy leagues.
Nary an NBA organization has endured a talent drain on the scale of the Blazers this offseason, as veteran presences LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio), Wesley Matthews (Dallas), Robin Lopez (New York), and Nicolas Batum (Charlotte) have taken their talents elsewhere, either via free agency or trade. With the preceding in tow last season, Lillard averaged 21.0 points (on 43 percent shooting), 6.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 three-pointers, and 1.2 steals in 36 minutes. Digging deeper, he offset a career-low 34-percent clip from three-point range with new-found finishing ability around the hoop, hitting 64 percent from within three feet, which helped the point guard maintain a true-shooting percentage within the norm established in his first two campaigns (56 percent overall). Becoming the focus of opposing defenses could curtail some of his efficiency, but coach Terry Stotts is apt to ride Lillard with no other established offensive force on the roster. Of utmost concern is how Lillard will mesh with upwards of 10 new teammates, most of whom boast one-dimensional games. If his scoring achieves new heights, as expected, a dip in his nightly assist offerings could very well be one of the side effects.
Damian Lillard emerged as a bonafide star in his second season in the league, averaging 20.7 points (on 42-percent shooting), 5.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.8 steals in 36 minutes per game. Despite logging nearly three fewer minutes per game, the first-time All-Star increased his efficiency by improving his three-pointers made from 2.3 to 2.7, while still boosting his efficiency from beyond the arc (37 to 39 percent). Moreover, Lillard's decision-making improved in lockstep, as he posted a 2.33 AST/TO versus his rookie mark of 2.17. While it isn't necessarily reflected in his overall line, the 2012-13 Rookie of the Year leaves much to be desired on the defensive end of the court. In any case, his primary offseason aim, improving his conditioning, may actually be achieved by failing to land a roster spot on Team USA and avoiding the extra miles placed on a player in international play.
Damian Lillard – from noted basketball power Weber State – took the NBA by storm in his first season, posting averages of 19.0 points, 6.5 assists and 3.1 boards while shooting over 42 percent from the floor and 84 percent from the free-throw line. That performance earned him much-deserved Rookie of the Year honors. What can we expect from Lillard in his sophomore campaign? The Blazers are hoping for even more – and less. As impressive as he was on the offensive end last season, the word "sieve" comes up entirely too often in assessments of his defense. You can expect that to be a big offseason priority – Portland even discussed having Lillard work out with Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton – and while steals aren't an ideal measure of a basketball player's defensive prowess, it seems fair to expect his average (0.9 steals last season) to increase. On the other hand, one of the reasons Lillard put up such impressive numbers was usage – he logged a staggering 389 mpg last season – second-most in the league. The Blazers would like to reduce his workload a bit this year, which is one reason they used the 10th overall pick in the 2013 draft on C.J. McCollum and added veteran guard Mo Williams in free agency. Ideally, the efficiency that comes from a year's experience in the league will offset any loss of playing time.
Lillard was named the co-MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League after averaging an impressive 26.5 points (on 43.8 percent shooting), 5.3 dimes, and 4.0 rebounds in four contests. In the process, he dazzled the crowd with a smooth stroke from outside and an ability to finish at the rim through contact, while also excelling in the pick-and-roll. If he establishes instant chemistry with Aldridge the All-Star, Lillard’s ample minutes load and status as Portland’s unquestioned floor general could result in an interesting Rookie of the Year conversation.
More Fantasy News
Fights in vain through injury
GPortland Trail Blazers
May 21, 2019
Lillard supplied 28 points (11-24 FG, 4-12 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 12 assists and four rebounds across 44 minutes during the Trail Blazers' 119-117 overtime loss to the Warriors in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals Monday.
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Playing through separated ribs
GPortland Trail Blazers
May 19, 2019
Lillard is playing through separated ribs, an injury that occurred in the Trail Blazers' Game 2 loss to Golden State on Thursday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Inefficient shooting once again
GPortland Trail Blazers
May 18, 2019
Lillard totaled 19 points (5-18 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 6-8 FT), six rebounds, six assists and two steals over 40 minutes in the Trail Blazers' loss to the Warriors on Saturday.
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Key gaffe in closing seconds
GPortland Trail Blazers
May 16, 2019
Lillard posted 23 points (6-16 FG, 5-12 3Pt, 6-7 FT), 10 assists, five rebounds and one steal across 43 minutes during the Trail Blazers' 114-111 loss to the Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals Thursday.
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Inefficient night Tuesday
GPortland Trail Blazers
May 14, 2019
Lillard finished with 19 points (4-12 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 9-9 FT), six assists, and four rebounds in 37 minutes during Tuesday's 116-94 loss to Golden State.
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