The Blazers are prepared to make star point guard Damian Lillard their designated player. Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images Sources said the Blazers and the All-Star point guard soon will finalize a five-year extension that will kick in starting with the 2016-17 season.
First-round picks from the 2012 NBA draft such as Lillard are eligible to negotiate contract extensions now through Oct. 31. But like any free-agent deal throughout the league, they can't be formally signed until July 9, when a leaguewide moratorium on player business is lifted.
Damian Lillard was among the league's elite point guards last season and will be paid as such.
The exact figures of the extension will depend on how much the NBA salary cap actually rises in 2016, but sources said the Blazers are prepared to pay Lillard, 24, the maximum amount they're allowed to and make him their designated player.
Lillard, the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Weber State, has excelled in his three seasons in the league. He was named Rookie of the Year for the 2012-13 season, and followed that up with two consecutive All-Star campaigns.
Lillard has career averages of 21.0 points, 6.1 assists and 1.0 steals.