Report: Chicago Bulls looking to enter Damian Lillard sweepstakes

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The Miami Heat may be facing competition in their attempt to acquire Damian Lillard, with the Chicago Bulls reportedly trying to get involved in trade talks with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Heat have long been thought to be the eventual landing spot for the All-Star guard, who requested a trade from the Trail Blazers almost three months ago. However, negotiations between those sides have gone nowhere so far, and with Portland reportedly rekindling trade talks with training camps about to open and the 2023-24 NBA season rapidly approaching, the Bulls have now been identified as a possibly interested team.

Chicago was mentioned earlier in the offseason as potentially having a role in a potential Lillard deal with Zach LaVine as a possible trade piece. But that also went nowhere as the Heat continued to pursue the 33-year-old while being rebuffed by the Trail Blazers, who reportedly reached a point of having no interest in making a deal with them.

It is unknown if Chicago is entering the fray to make a deal directly for Lillard or to become involved as part of a multi-team trade that may better satisfy Portland’s desires. It also is unknown if Lillard would actually report to the Bulls if traded to them or elsewhere other than the Heat. There have been recent conflicting reports following his agent warning off teams earlier this offseason.

ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski recently spelled out what the Trail Blazers may be looking for while engaging with other teams, saying they are trying to work on multi-team deals that would land them the assets of draft picks and young players.

Miami has tried to work a trade with Tyler Herro as the centerpiece but to date has not been successful. The Heat reportedly remain in play for Lillard and seem to still hold some bit of leverage, but if other teams also become involved that landscape could change considerably.

With most NBA training camps to open in early October, it would seem to be in all sides’ best interests to complete a deal as soon as possible and not wait until the season is actually underway.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.