Lillard denies planning to request trade: No 'firm decision' on future
"I haven't made any firm decision on what my future will be," Lillard said following Team USA practice.
When asked about the start of next season, Lillard said he "expects to be" in a Portland uniform, per Marc J. Spears of ESPN.
A report earlier Friday from TrueHoop's Henry Abbott stated that the 31-year-old guard would ask for a trade, citing a source close to Lillard.
While Lillard rebuffed the notion that he was seeking an immediate exit, the six-time All-Star admitted he doesn't believe the roster can compete for a title as constructed, even with a new coach in Chauncey Billups.
"I don't disagree that maybe Chauncey can change our team and make us a better team," Lillard said, courtesy of USA Today's Mark Medina. "But I think if you look at our team as it is, I don't see how you say, 'This is a championship team, we just need a new coach.'"
His assessment of the squad runs contrary to that of team president Neil Olshey. Following former head coach Terry Stotts' departure, Olshey said Portland's playoff elimination and its poor defense last season "was not a product of the roster," according to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports.
Lillard confirmed that he would speak to Olshey and Billups in a meeting in Las Vegas soon, adding, "There's a conversation to be had," according to Begley.
Lillard has spent all nine seasons of his career in Portland since the team drafted him sixth overall in 2012. The Weber State product's future with the team has been cast into doubt since the Trail Blazers set out to replace Stotts, whom they mutually parted ways with in June.
Earlier in July, Lillard said that words were being put in his mouth amid a flurry of trade rumors. That came weeks after reports that the Trail Blazers' coaching search and concern over their ability to contend for a title could push Lillard to leave Portland.