In fact, according to a recent report from Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Lillard played a big role in Tatum’s decision to join Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
Lillard was also in communication with Boston Celtics wing Jayson Tatum, who put off his decision on Team USA for some time after the season ended to evaluate his offseason priorities. Tatum was on the 2019 World Cup team that finished a disappointing seventh, in part because Tatum sprained his ankle in pool play.
When it was clear how the team was shaping up, Tatum’s uncertainty faded and he committed, sources said.
To recall, Jayson Tatum’s commitment came right after Draymond Green and Damian Lillard committed to play for the national team as well.
The fact that Lillard had been talking to Tatum following their early postseason exits will surely spark trade rumors, especially considering the situation of the Blazers guard. There have been reports that Dame could force his way out amid the situation in Portland–from the criticisms he received for the Chauncey Billups hiring or his frustration for not being able to legitimately contend for the title.
Furthermore, it is also worth noting that the Celtics are an enticing destination for Lillard since Boston has everything Dame Time is looking for: front office stability, a championship contender, and a franchise with history on winning it all.
Of course all those trade talks are mere speculations, but Blazers fans will surely have their eyes on everything Dame does or tweets. For what it’s worth, Lillard was also seen recently with LeBron James in a WNBA game. Yikes!