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Damian Lillard hoped to get a supermax deal with the Blazers



PORTLAND, Oregon. – Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers are expected to reach an agreement during the summer for a four-year extension and $ 191 million supermax contracts, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Lillard would qualify officially for the supermax if he voted for one of the three All-NBA Teams, which is practically a block for the four-time All-Star.

Lillard is two years old and approximately $ 62 million remaining in his current contract. The extension would put him under contract for the next six years, and he would be 34 years old when the agreement expires, perhaps consolidating his status as the best Trail Blazer of all time.

According to rival executives, a new pact for Lillard would almost certainly include a player option, something the guard omitted in his previous agreement.

Blazers guard Damian Lillard goes to the basket during the first half of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Monday. (AP Photo / Craig Mitchelldyer)

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The seven-year veteran led the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference finals for the first time in 19 years before being swept by defending champions.

"Look what we did this year," Lillard told Yahoo Sports. "We play without our starting center. [Jusuf Nurkic, who suffered a season-ending leg injury]. We play without CJ [McCollum] Towards the end of the season. So, seeing that, we could still get here. We were one step away [from the Finals]. And not only here, we had a double-digit lead in three of the four games. I think getting here is reassuring that we can do the job. "

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Although Lillard could not have an offensive performance break due to ultra aggressive traps of the Warriors and double teams and & nbsp;an annoying rib injury, his competitiveness and perseverance were admired from the opposite bank. "data-reactid =" 33 "> Although Lillard could not have a first class offensive performance due to the ultra aggressive traps and the double teams of the Warriors, and a persistent rib injury, his competitiveness and perseverance were admired from the opposite bank.

"Dame is a special player," Warriors star Draymond Green told Yahoo Sports. "He just keeps fighting, he loves this team and this city, and you respect the fact that he wants to win here and do it his way, he's a definite competitor, and you can say he's from Oakland. to do it. "

The series showed that Portland is still a few pieces away from a legitimate title dispute. For the second year in a row, the game plan was to get Lillard out of the game by invading the star and forcing him to pass and trust his teammates to hit big shots.

Depth of the list also remains a major concern for Portland. Including the regular season and postseason, Lillard led the league in minutes played with 3,488.

If Neil Olshey, the Blazers' president of basketball operations, decides not to trade or extend the contracts of Evan Turner or Meyers Leonard, then it is likely that Portland will head to another season above the luxury tax threshold and restrict severely the team's options. The low season

"We just have to keep improving with the guys we have," Lillard told Yahoo Sports. "And then, if you present yourself where we can get some guys that might take us to the next level, then look at that. I think that's all we can do. "

Another important decision for the Trail Blazers is the future of their head coach, Terry Stotts. The team has its option for the 2019-20 season, but probably requires an extension this summer for Stotts to return to the sideline.

Stotts was not happy when he was not offered an extension last year, the sources said. As the second most winning coach in the history of the franchise and with a record of 53-29 that equates to the third seed in the West this season, Stotts deserves a new agreement.

"It's a disappointing loss, but for me it was an exceptional season," Stotts said Monday night. "The guys in the locker room are special, it's been a special season, it's always hard to lose the last game of the year, but I could not be more proud of the group we've had."

The Trail Blazers saw the Warriors celebrate on their court as Golden State heads for a fifth consecutive NBA final. The Blazers were very close to extending the series, but they realize how much more they need to grow.

"We are one step away from the Finals, and I see that it is the maturity and understanding of how stable you must be," Lillard told Yahoo Sports. "We played very well in jets, we had four great first halves, but those moments when we relaxed and stopped doing the things that gave us that advantage and attacked us because they do not change the way they play. doing the same thing, they beat all the games that way.

"I think one of the things we needed was experience and knowing how to play so far this season, we've never been this far in the playoffs, so I think the experience is something you need, and obviously as players, we have to improve. We have to improve as players, we were in some positions where we could not capitalize, all of us, from top to bottom, we have to improve, and once those situations are presented again, we can hold on. "

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