This is a positive development for the Heat, as talks had ground to a standstill recently in the Lillard saga.
“At this point… the only two training camps that Damian Lillard would report to, in theory: Portland and Miami.”
— The Rally (@TheRally) September 11, 2023
“I expect Portland and Miami to re-engage before the start of training camps coming up here in the next two and a half weeks,” Charania said. “Really at this point, I’m told the only two training camps that Damian Lillard would report to, in theory: Portland and Miami.
“So if a team like Toronto, for instance, were to trade for Damian Lillard, I don’t believe Lillard would even report.”
The fact that Lillard only would report to Miami or Portland certainly helps the Heat in trade talks. Portland can’t exactly leverage other teams in the market if Lillard refuses to play for them. That means Miami may be the only suitor for the longtime Blazers point guard.
A seven-time All-Star, Lillard averaged 32.2 points and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc in the 2022-23 season. He made an All-NBA team last season, but the Blazers failed to make the playoffs.
The Heat would likely need to part ways with guard Tyler Herro in a potential Lillard trade, and they’d also likely have to give up one of Nikola Jovic or Jaime Jaquez Jr. to entice the Blazers.
Lillard has multiple seasons remaining on his contract, so he would be in Miami for the long haul if the two sides were able to get a deal done.
Even though the Heat would lose some pieces in a trade, NBA insider Marc Stein reported that it’s likely that the team would land wing Kelly Oubre Jr. if it is able to complete a deal for Lillard.
Oubre has bounced around in recent seasons, playing for the Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors and Charlotte Hornets all since the 2018-19 season, but he is coming off a huge year with the Hornets.
In the 2022-23 campaign, Oubre averaged 20.3 points per game (a career-high) while shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 31.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Hopefully for Heat fans, there will be a resolution to the Lillard saga sooner rather than later this offseason.