When NBA superstars have left teams to chase rings with other stars in recent years, they have often been criticized by retired legends like Shaquille O’Neal.
Despite the way these moves are usually viewed, it seems Shaq is ready to give one star a pass if he were to try and win a ring with somebody other than his current team.
On today’s episode of “The Big Podcast”, Shaquille O’Neal revealed that Damian Lillard deserves the chance to be traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to play for a contender.
"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
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.
Damian Lillard has done all he can to bring a ring to the Portland Trail Blazers. Unfortunately, the franchise hasn’t done much to help him with that.
Over the course of a career that has seen Lillard spend 11 years with the Blazers, he has only ever played alongside one All-Star. That was LaMarcus Aldridge. His last season with the team was the 2014-15 season, Lillard’s 3rd in the league.
Since then, his best teammates have been CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. Both are good players, but neither is who you want as your number 2 option while trying to chase a ring.
Despite that, Lillard managed to take the Blazers to the playoffs in his first 6 seasons without Aldridge and even led the team to the Western Conference Finals once before running into a loaded Golden State Warriors squad.
Lillard is in the midst of the second season in his career where he is averaging at least 30 points per game, but has nothing to show for it.
Lillard deserves a chance to try to win a ring with a team that is built for it after years of staying loyal to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Many other stars around the league have changed teams to try and contend. Shaq is right that Lillard should be the next one to get that opportunity.