In anticipation of Thursday's NBA Draft, top prospect Damian Lillard met with members of the media at the Westin Hotel in New York City to discuss a variety of draft-related topics. He was one of just 12 players invited to the sessions, a strong reflection of how his draft stock has improved league-wide over the past few months.
Over at Blazers Edge, SB Nation's Mike Prada has transcribed part of the interview, which includes some nice tidbits about how Lillard views himself as a player, among other things. One of those topics is how he'd fit in with the Portland Trail Blazers, and he seemed excited by the possibility:
I think I would fit well. They have an All-Star post in LaMarcus Aldridge. He's going to demand a double team. I would be able to play off of him, when he's the man in the double team. It's good to be able to knock down shots, a threat if they want to double you can make him pay.
While Lillard has the reputation of a score-first guard after scoring nearly 25 points per game at Weber State, he's also excited to show NBA teams that he's capable of running an offense after being the primary scoring option at a smal school:
Naturally, I look to make plays for other people, but at Weber State, my responsibility was to score points. That's what my team needed me to do to win games. I'm definitely a scorer. I'm not saying I'm not a scorer. But I'm comfortable making plays for other guys.
While numerous teams around the league could really use a perimeter player that can handle the ball, set up teammates and score on his own when necessary, Lillard has no expectations about his role upon entering the league. He'll be fine whether he's starting early or not:
I haven't really thought about coming in and starting. I realize that there's a lot of guys who are respected in the league, established. I'm coming in as a rookie. All I want to come in and do is work my way on to the floor. Earn some minutes. If that leads to me starting, so be it. I'm always working on my game so if I'm in a position where I need to start, I'll be ready.
At the moment, mock drafts have Lillard going as high as No. 6 overall to Portland, with few mocks seeing him any lower than No. 10 overall to New Orleans.