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Damian Lillard is dedicated to helping the Portland Trail Blazers win an NBA championship.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday about his new contract, Lillard said winning a title with another organization “wouldn’t be as fulfilling” for him.

“As long as I have an opportunity to do it, a good opportunity to [compete for a title], I’m willing to go out however,” he added.

Lillard agreed to a two-year, $122 million extension with the Blazers on Friday that ties him to the team through the 2026-27 season.

As the Blazers were in the midst of going 27-55 last season, speculation about Lillard’s future with the team picked up steam.

Portland did break up the nucleus of its roster on Feb. 8 by trading CJ

McCollum, Larry Nance Jr. and Tony Snell to the New Orleans Pelicans for a package that included Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomáš Satoranský, Didi Louzada.

Lillard and McCollum were the driving force for Trail Blazers basketball for nine seasons.

There were rumblings last offseason that Lillard was going to request a trade. The six-time All-Star emphatically denied that rumor.

“I woke up to those reports, a lot of people reaching out to me,” Lillard said. “But it’s not true. I’ll start off the rip and say it’s not true. A lot of things are being said. It hasn’t come from me. I haven’t made any firm decision on what my future will be.”

It became apparent very early this offseason that Lillard wasn’t going anywhere. The Blazers acquired Jerami Grant in a July 6 trade with the Detroit Pistons.

Aaron J. Fentress @AaronJFentress

Just chatted with Damian Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin. He praised the trade for Jerami Grant saying it gives his superstar client a new impact veteran talent to work with while also demonstrating that, “the Blazers are competing.” #RipCity

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on June 22 that Portland was trying to use the No. 7 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft in trade offers to the Toronto Raptors for OG Anunoby.

The Raptors didn’t bite on the deal, leaving the Blazers to select Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe with the pick.

New general manager Joe Cronin used free agency to replenish Portland’s roster. The team agreed to a deal with Gary Payton II and re-signed Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic.

All of these moves are designed to ease some of the burden on Lillard and make the Blazers a playoff contender in the Western Conference for the upcoming season.

Lillard will remain the driving force for Portland as long as he is healthy. The 31-year-old played a career-low 29 games last season due to an abdominal injury that required surgery.

From 2015-21, Lillard averaged 27.2 points, 6.9 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game in 436 starts. He shot 37.8 percent from three-point range during that span.

Per Basketball-Reference.com, Lillard needs 531 points next season to surpass Clyde Drexler for most points scored in franchise history (18,040).

Portland made eight consecutive playoff appearances from 2013-21, including an appearance in the 2019 Western Conference Finals.

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