Damian Lillard reportedly “would make it ugly” if he were traded to the Toronto Raptors this offseason, according to Five on the Floor’s Ethan Skolnick.
Skolnick explained on a recent podcast that a reporter that is close with Lillard’s agent mentioned that Toronto is a place where Lillard would have a problem with being dealt.
“Toronto is a place that Dame would make it ugly,” Skolnick said. “He didn’t mention Chicago. He didn’t mention any other teams. He mentioned Toronto as a place that Dame would make it ugly. And I know for a fact, 100 percent, that this particular reporter has a great relationship with Dame’s agent and has for a very long time.”
It has been reported that the Blazers star would request a trade to the Heat if he’s traded anywhere but Miami this offseason.
That could scare teams away from acquiring the seven-time All-NBA selection, and it appears Toronto is one team that Lillard has no interest in playing for.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the Blazers have had trade talks involving Lillard with other teams and not the Heat. However, he also left the door open for the Heat making a deal, saying all it takes is “one moment with one call.”
Lillard is still one of the best guards in the NBA, and he would be a massive upgrade for the Heat at the point guard position. He 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 last season.
Miami is in need of guard help after Gabe Vincent left for the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency. The team still has Kyle Lowry (who is entering the final season of his contract), but the veteran guard has dealt with injuries in his Heat tenure.
Adding a player like Lillard would immediately raise Miami’s ceiling on the offensive end of the floor.
The Raptors also have a need at guard after Fred VanVleet signed with the Houston Rockets in free agency, but the team is going to have a hard time justifying making a deal for Lillard if he doesn’t want to play for the organization.
The Heat would certainly benefit from Lillard not wanting to play for other teams, as that would hurt the Blazers’ negotiating power.
For now, Heat fans have to wait and see if the two sides can come to terms on a deal for Lillard before the 2023-24 season.