West Notes: Blazers, Damian Lillard, Nuggets, Jazz

Trail Blazers

Star guard Damian Lillard suggested that people may not appreciate his loyalty to the organization, adding that it isn’t likely to change.

“If you’re not the person involved, if you’re not the person who’s living whatever that loyalty is to or whatever that’s about, then it’s hard to understand,” Lillard said on The Dan Patrick Show. “A lot of people look at my situation, and they like ‘Man, Dame being loyal’ and loyal this and loyal that, and they just kind of throw it around. And I’ve explained it, I’m not trying to give nobody no loyalty speech and all that stuff, but that seems to be the way it always gets flipped because I get asked about my situation.”

There has been some talk the Blazers could look to move Lillard this offseason, but for now, that’s all it is — talk.

The Blazers (33-45) have been eliminated from playoff contention, and much of what happens in the NBA Draft Lottery could determine the future of Lillard and the Blazers together.


Coach Mike Malone suggested that All-Star center Nikola Jokic‘s calf injury will be good enough to go for the first round of the playoffs.

“I think having that week between the end of the regular season and beginning of playoffs allows this to be something where I’m not concerned that this will go into the playoffs,” Malone said, via Mike Singer of The Denver Post. “I think we are just being really, really smart, cautious, and trying to protect him as much as possible.”

Jokic has missed three straight, with the Nuggets losing their first two. They overcame a 15-point deficit vs. the Warriors to win on Sunday.


The future of Talen Horton-Tucker with the Jazz remains to be seen, and it may take parts of next season to figure it out, wrote Sarah Todd of the Desert News.

“Frankly, Horton-Tucker isn’t a good enough shooter and doesn’t work well enough without the ball in his hands to be an NBA shooting guard, so it’s in his best interest to develop into a point guard,” Todd wrote.

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