It might be time for the Portland Trail Blazers to just pack it in for the season.
The troubled team got horrible news on Wednesday when it was announced that their star player, Damian Lillard, had surgery to address a lingering abdominal injury and would be out for at least six to eight weeks.
Lillard last played for the team on December 31st and the Blazers are 4-7 without their iconic point guard.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard tells @YahooSports that he “feels good” after undergoing successful surgery on his abdomen this morning in Philadelphia – which was performed by Dr. William C. Meyers – and he is now expected to be re-evaluated in 5-6 weeks.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 13, 2022
The devastating news about Dame Dolla comes after losing fellow guard CJ McCollum weeks ago.
McCollum sustained a collapsed lung and is out indefinitely.
This season has already been tough for the team and this latest Lillard news is basically the nail in the coffin for the 2021-22 season.
Now people are wondering what will come next for them.
From Bad To Worse
Things were rocky for Portland even before their first tip-off.
Because of past sexual assault allegations against Billups, his selection proved very controversial to put it mildly.
That scandal was followed by another when an investigation revealed that team president Neil Olshey was creating a toxic workplace for employees; he was promptly fired.
Then Lillard played inconsistently…then they lost McCollum…then they fell to 10th in the West with a 16-24 record.
All in all, things are not working out for the Blazers and it looked like they wouldn’t be able to turn it around even with Lillard on their side.
But without him, their hopes are all but completely dashed.
Dame Time Runs Out?
The success of this season was very important because, as everyone knows, Lillard has grown increasingly unhappy with the direction of the team and is likely looking to be traded if things don’t change soon.
This season was seen as make-or-break by many.
In fact, most were shocked to see Lillard still with Portland at the beginning of 2021-22 – many thought he would have demanded a trade in the summer.
So what happens with Lillard now that he is going to miss so much time?
There is a chance that Lillard will decide to leave Portland after this season, even though his absence isn’t the fault of the team.
On the other hand, Lillard might take the totality of the situation into consideration and give Portland another chance, hoping they are able to land a few trades or draft picks for the summer.
But the Blazers might have other ideas: they may decide to blow up the entire team and trade Lillard among other assets and start over from scratch.
Yet sources inside the league say it’s more likely that the Blazers will stick with Lillard and try to build around him.
The Portland Trailblazers still would like to build their roster around 31-year-old Damian Lillard, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski pic.twitter.com/QHs9zkzki3
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 13, 2022
Whatever they decide to do, it looks like they have plenty of time to figure it out since Lillard won’t be back for weeks.
Someone order the Trail Blazers an economy-size bottle of Aspirin because they keep experiencing headache after headache.