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Shannon Sharpe: "I Believe Damian Lillard Starts The Season With Portland, But At The Trade Deadline, He Ends Up With Philly"

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The Damian Lillard saga isn't as hot as it was at the beginning of the 2021 NBA offseason. Yet, people are still talking about the talented point guard's future and what he will do ahead of or during the 2021/22 NBA campaign. 

After another disappointing early playoff exit, plenty of rumors surfaced suggesting Dame would be living his last days in Portland. More people are convinced he won't finish next season playing at Moda Center. 

Former NFL player-turned-analyst Shannon Sharpe made this claim in a recent edition of FS1's Undisputed, explaining that perhaps Dame will start the season with his team. Still, he will get traded to Philadelphia at next year's trade deadline. 

Sharpe explained that this league is very difficult for guards trying to win championships since every legit contender has a strong forward. The Lakers have LeBron James, the Nets have Kevin Durant, the Clippers have Kawhi Leonard, but that's not the case for the Blazers. Having said that, Shannon explained why it'll be hard to see Dame staying with Portland for the entire 2021/22 term (1:32). 

"When I look at it, they lose Kanter, who is a terrible defender, but he bangs those boards. He's basically giving them 8 to 10 rebounds on a nightly basis... I believe he [Lillard] starts this season in Portland, but I don't believe he finishes the season in Portland. I believe, by the trade deadline, I believe he ends up with Philly. That's my gut. I don't talk with nobody. I don't know nobody, but I'm just going to go with that because Dame, he wants to win in Portland. At the end of the day, I don't believe they're going to be able to surround Dame with the pieces that he needs and he's gonna have to link up with Joel Embiid."

This situation gets more interesting by the day, and nobody knows what really will happen with Lillard. The All-Star player has claimed he wants to win in Portland. Still, they didn't do an outstanding job bringing the pieces he needs to actually compete in the Western Conference. 

Unless they pull off a miracle and pair Dame with another star, there's not much hope that he will stay with the Blazers beyond this season.