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Damian Lillard’s future goal: MVP

Apr 2, 2013, 1:45 PM EDT

Hornets Trail Blazers Basketball AP

At some point during the NBA award season, Damian Lillard is going to pick up the Rookie of the Year hardware. It is the biggest lock of the award season (even ahead of the inevitable LeBron MVP).

The question with Lillard — who is older than most of his draft class after a four-year college stint — is how good can he be in a few years? What is his ceiling?

Lillard is thinking high — very high — he told’s Chris Haynes.

“I think I can be a first team All-NBA, I think I can be an All-Star, I think I can be an MVP,” Lillard told “That’s just my opinion. I don’t know when, but how I plan to work and how much better I want to be, I feel like anything is possible.”

That’s exactly what you want your stud rookie to say. That’s not to say his ego is getting too big.

“I’m not saying I deserve those things right now. That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that I set high standards for myself,” he said. “I’m not going to come out and try to force myself to be an MVP next season, I’m going to be myself and hopefully all the hard work that I put in will get me to that point. I can get a lot better.”

Lillard had advantages this year that Anthony Davis or Andre Drummond did not. First, he stayed healthy. Second, he had the ball in his hands (and a coach that would play him big minutes, unlike Drummond). Finally, Lillard had veterans like LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum around. He was on a better team, got better matchups than those others.

Not to take anything away from Lillard’s 19 points and 6.5 assists per game. Or that his 169 three pointers this season beat Stephen Curry’s rookie record. Lillard has earned everything he has gotten this season.

But there could be a lot more hardware coming. And his head is in the right place to get there.

  1. palmersports - Apr 2, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    He will have to wait until LeBron fades away to do that most likely. But id love to see it happen

  2. camnellum12 - Apr 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Yeah right, Kyrie will be MVP before this dude ever gets a chance at it

    • palmersports - Apr 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM


    • 4thquartermagic - Apr 2, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      Irving is a phenomenal player who can’t seem to stay healthy.

      Too soon to say but he might be one of those great players who never realize their full potential due to injury.
      Like Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady.

      • drex1 - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        that would be a massive shame. grant hill was amazing when he came into the league. same with larry johnson, so hopefully kyrie dont suffer a serious injury like they did

      • camnellum12 - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        Iverson couldn’t stay healthy either

  3. John Cougar Mellencamp - Apr 2, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Great article…
    Obvious goal is obvious.

  4. drex1 - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    I hope not, grant hill was amazing when he came into the league, hate to see it happen too kyrie as well. was the same when larry johnson went down he could have been a great

  5. gmsalpha - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Not sure if he will be an MVP, but I really love his confidence and maturity. He seems to be the kind of guy who has a good head on his shoulders.

  6. papacrick - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    I’d still take Drummond over this kid if there was a re draft

  7. saint1997 - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Seriously phenomenal talent. Who will win first though? Irving, Lillard or Wall?

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