Damian Lillard Willing to Help Recruit Free Agents to Portland

by April 12, 2013

In addition to all of his other offseason obligations, Damian Lillard may be called on to put on a recruiting hat for the Blazers this summer. Lillard says he’s ready to help persuade free agents to join him in Portland. Per CSNNW: “It depends on what our team is going to need, but if I like a player that is on the market and I know he has interest, of course I’m going to reach out to them,’ Lillard said. ‘I’m going to do what I can to help the team get better.’ Trail Blazers two-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge has already said he will be sending text messages to certain free agents he believes would make sense for the organization. In years past, it hasn’t been an easy task convincing high-level talent to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. But with the lethal combination of Aldridge, Lillard, a creative offensive mind in Head Coach Terry Stotts, the proven track record of Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey and $11.9 – $13.1 million in cap space, could equal a winning formula for persuasion. ‘I just think Portland is a great place,’ Lillard said. ‘The people here are great. If they want to play in a city where they know the crowd is going to be there whether you’re having a bad season or good season, losing streak or winning streak, our fans give you something to play for. They are there every game supporting us and it’s inspiring when you are out there on the floor. When the game seems out of reach, they’re constantly cheering. People aren’t getting up leaving their seats and it’s like that every single game.’ Big time cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York have the nightlife experience that most young players gravitate towards. It also helps that those teams are currently winning. There are pros and cons to working in a city with an eventful nightlife. Lillard discusses the cons. ‘As a professional, you shouldn’t want to go to a city where there is a lot of distractions and places where you can get into some trouble,’ Lillard said. ‘For me, I think this is the perfect place. I got out to movies, dinner, but I am able to take care of my business and focus. That’s what I’m here for.'”