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Kendrick Perkins Says Damian Lillard Will Force His Way Out Of Portland: "He's Is In The Same Situation Kevin Garnett Was With Minnesota..."

Damian Lillard

Amid an injury-plagued season and the front-office debacle that led to Neil Olshey's firing, Damian Lillard has stayed the course in Portland.

But how much longer will that last? According to Kendrick Perkins, Dame is already planning his escape, which will entail using his desire for max-extension as an excuse to jump ship.

"I think this is a chess move by him wanting a max extension to force his way out. Because when I look at this situation, Dame is in the same situation that KG was in Minnesota. Carrying the franchise, taking them to the playoffs every single year but not getting and winning the ultimate goal. Right now, Dame has to know that he's not gonna win a Championship in Portland any time soon. I don't believe that free agents want to sign with Portland and I think that him and CJ McCollum have run their course and it's not gonna get done."

(start at 1:03)

In case you missed it, Lillard is angling for a $100+ million extension this summer that will pay him upwards of $55 million at 36-years-old.

Lillard wants a two-year, $107 million extension in July, and he and his agent need the next general manager to sell ownership on the idea. As much as anything, this cuts to the core of the Blazers' search process. His desire for an extension into his advanced NBA years has turned into a battle for the franchise's future, an existential threat to reshaping and redirecting the organization in a post-playoff reality.

Obviously, staying with the Blazers is the easiest way to get that money, which might support the idea that he wants to stay long-term.

For Perkins, and plenty of others, the extension might just be Lillard carving out an excuse to finally leave the team.

Whatever Dame has said in the past, the Blazers look to be several steps behind where they were in 2019, and his desire to win could soon beat out his drive to stay loyal. The clock is officially ticking, and the situation in Portland is looking more unstable by the week.