Report: Damian Lillard could request trade from Portland

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Report: Lillard could request trade from Portland originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Damian Lillard has been a symbol of loyalty in the age of player movement for the NBA, but his future with the Portland Trail Blazers may be in doubt. 

Per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, backlash from fans regarding Portland's head coach search and concerns about their ability to build a contender have become factors that could make the six-time All-Star ask for a trade. 

Over the weekend, the Trail Blazers reportedly closed in on hiring Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups for their head coach opening, which became a controversial move among the fan base on social media. 

Billups was accused of raping a woman in 1997 while a rookie with the Boston Celtics. The case was never brought to trial. Billups did settle a civil lawsuit eventually brought by a woman named only as Jane Doe in court files. Some Trail Blazers fans let the team, and Lillard, know about their discontent with Billups' potential hire, which has not yet been announced by the organization. 

"Lillard has remained loyal to Portland in large part due to the tremendous fan base," Haynes wrote. "But over the last few days, he’s seen some of those same fans attacking him on social media for a pending coaching hire he played no part in consummating, sources said."

After the Trail Blazers fired head coach Terry Stotts, Lillard named Billups and Jason Kidd as two candidates he'd be in favor of playing for. He had no knowledge of the past allegations against Billups, according to Haynes, and the coaching search was carried out by general manager Neil Olshey.

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Lillard has not formally requested a trade, but if he were ever to become available it'd be difficult to find teams uninterested in acquiring the superstar point guard. Lillard has three years and a player option left on his current contract, which would be an unprecedented level of contract security in a superstar caliber trade. 

Last season, Lillard averaged 28.8 points, 7.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 39% on 10.5 3-point attempts per game.