There reportedly are over five different NBA teams interested in facilitating a multi-team trade that would send seven-time All-Star guard Damian Lillard to the Miami Heat.
Lillard only wants to play for the Heat after requesting a trade from Portland – the team that drafted him – earlier this offseason. It reportedly will get “uncomfortable” if Portland tries to move Lillard to another team this offseason.
“Damian Lillard wants to play for Miami and only Miami, I have been continually told since Saturday,” ESPN’s Marc J. Spears wrote. “Certainly, it’s easier said than done. I’m told that while Portland isn’t happy with potential packages, there are over five teams interested in a potential multiteam trade that could get it done. It won’t be today or tomorrow or perhaps the next day, but I believe it will ultimately end up with Lillard going to Miami. While Lillard does not have a no-trade clause, it doesn’t make sense to trade for a future Hall of Famer who doesn’t want to be there.”
While Lillard certainly wants to be in Miami, he doesn’t possess a no-trade clause. That means the Blazers, in theory, could trade him to whichever team makes the best offer.
The Heat have a few trade chips that they could include for Lillard, mainly former Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro. However, it’s possible a third team would need to take on Herro and his contract since Portland already has a loaded group of young players at the guard position.
The team took guard Scoot Henderson with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and used a lottery pick on guard Shaedon Sharpe last offseason. The Blazers also have Anfernee Simons under contract, and he and Herro have very similar playstyles.
It seems like it’s only a matter of time before Lillard ends up in Miami, but the team that helps facilitate a deal between the Heat and Blazers could be important.
First off, it could affect the asking price for Miami depending upon what assets the third team is willing to chip in to take something else in the trade.
For example, would another team be willing to part ways with significant draft capital for Herro which Miami could then flip for Lillard? Or would the Heat acquire young talent that the Blazers are interested in on cheaper deals than Herro’s four-year pact?
It’s unclear exactly what it will take for the deal to materialize, but Lillard and the Heat have mutual interest.
After making the NBA Finals in the 2022-23 season, the Heat could really get to the next level with a player like Lillard on the roster.
During the 2022-23 season, 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.