Damian Lillard and Bam Adebayo played together for Team USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and they might find themselves on the same team again if the Miami Heat finally find a way to acquire the superstar from the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to NBA insider Tim Reynolds, the stars formed a bond during their stint representing the country, and it looks like they have maintained their close relationship to this day.
“There’s a billion reasons why [Dame wants to be in Miami]. The connection @Dame_Lillard had w/ @Bam1of1 is an understated story right now in this whole deal. They connected incredibly at the Tokyo Olympics. You could see bonds being formed. They’ve stayed close” – @ByTimReynolds pic.twitter.com/kgZZTISca2
— Dru (@dru_star) July 23, 2023
It’s unclear how much longer Lillard will remain with the Blazers. While the star has made it clear that he doesn’t want to suit up for any other team besides Miami, Portland has played hardball. It has even reportedly been uncommunicative in trade talks for Lillard, which has apparently frustrated the Heat organization.
Some pundits have called for the Blazers to cooperate with the seven-time All-Star’s demand, reasoning that the front office has failed to put together a championship-contending roster around its cornerstone. Furthermore, it drafted Scoot Henderson, another point guard who some folks see as the organization’s successor for Lillard.
On the other hand, there are reports that Portland isn’t interested in Miami’s Tyler Herro-led trade offer.
Of course, Herro has displayed his incredible potential playing for the Heat, helping the squad reach the 2020 NBA Finals as a rookie and winning Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2022. But the Blazers already have several promising guards on the roster, including Henderson, Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe. So, it’s understandable for Portland to balk at adding Herro to the mix.
Still, all is not lost for Miami because other teams are reportedly interested in helping expand a potential Lillard trade into something that includes three or more squads.
Only time will tell if Adebayo and Lillard become teammates again. The last time they were on the same side, their team won gold in Tokyo.
As for Jimmy Butler, he seems to be anticipating that the trade will eventually materialize after he recently recreated some of Lillard’s iconic celebrations. Either that, or he’s trolling, which he has been known to do.