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Marjanovic and Lillard In New Directions


Free agent center Boban Marjanovic has agreed to a one-year contract to return to the Houston Rockets. Separately, Damian Lillard reveals why he demanded a trade from the Portland Blazers.

Marjanovic Returns to Houston

Boban Marjanović is coming off a year in which he appeared in 31 regular season games with the Houston Rockets. The eight-year veteran of the NBA averaged 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, shooting 68.3% from the field.

This summer, Marjanović became a free agent, but has now officially renewed with the Rockets.Marjanović has played for the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit Pistons, in addition to the Rockets.

His career averages are 5.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, shooting 57.9% from the field in 317 regular season games. The veteran player has also appeared in 31 NBA playoff games.

Given that Marjanović has extensive experience and is 35 years old, he is a good veteran for a young Rockets team to count on.

The Rockets are coming off a season in which they finished 14th in the Western Conference with a 22-60 record.

Houston has a talented roster, but has been absent from the NBA playoffs for three consecutive seasons.

The franchise went into rebuilding mode when they traded 2018 Most Valuable Player James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets for half of the 2020-21 season.

Lillard's Days Are Numbered in Portland

It was somewhat surprising, to some, when it was reported that Damian Lillard had requested a trade away from the Portland Trail Blazers at the start of the NBA Free Agency period.

Despite the rumors, there were still many who couldn't imagine that Lillard would ever ask out. Until it happened, of course.

With the lack of progress on a deal this summer, it can also be argued that the Blazers didn't even anticipate that Lillard would ask for a trade, which would be their fault if true.

Basically, the Blazers want to rebuild and Lillard wants to win. Both sides are on a path where they want different things.

You can read between the lines a bit here. Lillard didn't suddenly change his loyalty stance. Ideally, Lillard would win in Portland. Or at least he would have a chance to win in Portland.

But in recent seasons, between the trade of CJ McCollum and Josh Hart, and then the selection of two raw teenagers with lottery picks, something has changed in the Portland franchise.

It quickly became clear that the Blazers were no longer in winning mode and Lillard, at this point in his career, was not willing to go through another rebuild. When you look at it from that perspective, it's completely fair.

If there's one thing Lillard did wrong in his effort to be traded to a contender, it was probably naming the Miami Heat as his only preferred destination. But even then, there could be some reasoning behind it.

With less than two weeks to go until the start of NBA Training Camps, a deal will have to get done pretty quickly.

While there is some optimism that the Blazers are at least negotiating or talking to teams, there still does not appear to be a deal close to completion.

Lillard has probably played his last game in a Trail Blazers uniform. At some point, you will get the whole story. It's just unfortunate how everything has fallen apart between Lillard and Portland this offseason.

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