Damian Lillard’s trade request from the Trail Blazers is ‘Miami-or-bust… but the Heat need more assets’ to complete a deal for one of the NBA’s stars
- Lillard was drafted by Portland in 2012 and became their all-time points leader
- He made the playoffs eight consecutive years, but not since the 2021 season
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News of Lillard’s trade request broke earlier in the day and the Miami Heat were considered his preferred destination amongst teams that had already been linked with trying to trade for the man who made ‘Dame time’ a league wide phenomenon over the years.
But it now appears clear that Lillard has his eyes on only one destination.
Several other reports say the Trail Blazers have been in search of a third team as any trade package with the Heat would be centered around sixth man and scoring wing Tyler Herro, whom Portland is said to not be very keen on acquiring.
Herro is coming off the best all-around season of his career after in his first season as a starter after averaging 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists and his four-year $130 million contract would have to be included in any deal Miami made for Lillard in order for a trade to work finically.
Damian Lillard’s trade request from the Portland Trail Blazers is said to be ‘Miami-or-bust’
Lillard would form one of the league’s most dangerous trios with Butler and Adebayo
Miami’s primary trade asset is Tyler Herro, who Portland is said to not be interested in
Based off the comments made by Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin, it appears that if a suitable deal with Miami is not obtainable then the organization will choose the trade packages that benefits them the most regardless of Lillard’s ‘Miami-or-bust’ wish.
‘We have been clear that we want Dame here but he notified us today he wants out and to play someplace else,’ said Cronin.
‘What has not changed for us is that we’re committed to winning and we are going to do what is best for the team in pursuit of that goal.’
The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers were said to be early contenders to trade for the soon-to-be 33-year-old superstar, however those teams may have been linked to negotiations as the potential third team in any potential deal.
Miami is also said to be hoping to keep playoff standout Caleb Martin out of trade talks following the departures of key players Gabe Vincent and Max Strus in free agency.
If Lillard’s Miami dream does eventually come true, he, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo would form one of the league’s most dangerous trios in South Beach and create a level of excitement in south Florida that hasn’t been seen since LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade formed their own big three.
Although Lillard does not hold a no-trade clause in his contract to decline any potential trade to a destination other than Miami, most teams would concur that it would not be wise to trade for a player who has $216 million remaining on his contract.