Shaquille O'Neal: Trail Blazers should trade Damian Lillard to contender
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Shaquille O'Neal believes the Portland Trail Blazers should do Damian Lillard "a solid" and trade him to a contender. Lillard, 32, has been committed and loyal to the Trail Blazers ever since he was drafted by the team in 2012.
Even though Lillard is averaging just over 32 points per game this season, the Trail Blazers are just 29-33 and sit at No 12 in the Western Conference standings. O'Neal respects Lillard's commitment to Portland but believes the best for both parties would be to go their separate ways.
“The organization should do him a solid and trade him to a contender. They should use him to get younger pieces because they’re never gonna win there. I would do that if I was management," O'Neal said on The Big Podcast.
"The organization should do him a solid and trade him to a contender." @SHAQ thinks the Blazers should trade Dame pic.twitter.com/8wQIhMNWu2 — NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 1, 2023
O'Neal believes the Trail Blazers should trade Lillard to a contender
After CJ McCollum was traded from the Trail Blazers to the New Orleans Pelicans prior to the trade deadline in February 2022, the general expectation was that Lillard would ask for a trade.
But Lillard decided to stay loyal to the Trail Blazers. This week, Westbrook explained to ESPN why the grass is not always greener on the other side. "You look at Russell Westbrook. You leave OKC for Houston, then James [Harden] decided he's leaving.
Now Russ is traded to D.C., then you get traded from D.C. to the Lakers, now you're on your fourth team in four years, and in your second year on the team, everybody is talking about how they should trade you. Now you're coming off the bench.
This dude is a Hall of Famer, an MVP. It's an example that the grass isn't always greener. Then you look at Phoenix. They lose a championship, come back last year, and have another great season. They don't make it out of the playoffs.
Now, they're struggling. They're in the same boat as us. Boston lost last year. Then they come out on fire. What if they come up short? What if somebody knocks them off in the first or second rounds after this great season? We're struggling right now, but what if we hit our stride at the right time?" Lillard told ESPN.