Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard will seek the designated player maximum contract – a full five-year deal – in a possible extension this upcoming offseason, league sources told RealGM.
The Blazers will address the immediate futures of LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews when the July free agency begins, but the franchise is also expected to start talks on a new deal with Lillard this summer.
Lillard, sources said, has no plans to consider signing an extension less than the designated max – nor would the two-time NBA All-Star and 2013 Rookie of the Year be financially inclined to do so given 2016’s rising free agency market, when upward of 20 teams could extend $20 million-plus offer sheets to Lillard.
In his exit interview Thursday, Lillard told reporters he’s confident in extension talks with the Blazers, which could reach a possible $90 million-plus. Discussions can’t start until July, and the Blazers have long shown faith in the sixth overall pick of the 2012 draft.
Over his pro career, Lillard has earned more money in endorsement deals than his NBA salary, signing a lucrative extension with adidas in 2014.
Lillard, 24, has increased his scoring average in each of his three NBA seasons (19, 20.7, 21), adding 6.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game this year. He averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 assists and four rebounds in Portland’s five-game series defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, shooting just 40.6 percent from the field and 16 percent on three-pointers.