Talks between the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers regarding a possible Damian Lillard deal have noticeably gone nowhere since the All-Star requested a trade more than three months ago. In fact, one Philadelphia 76ers insider said the Blazers basically have been telling the Heat to “eat s—.”
With the Toronto Raptors reportedly emerging as a threat to land Lillard in a deal with Portland, Miami’s obvious offseason plan to add the 33-year-old seems to be in danger with the start of NBA training camps quickly approaching.
Portland reportedly has had “no interest” in making a deal with Miami — primarily a deal with Tyler Herro as its centerpiece — for some time now. The idea that it has reportedly reached the stage where the Trail Blazers are completely dismissive of the Heat’s efforts has to be troubling to the Miami organization.
The Heat have done little this offseason while waiting on an outcome to the Lillard situation and reportedly missed out on several other players while doing so.
Miami could still have an avenue to Lillard if Portland does trade him elsewhere. He reportedly would ask whatever team he ended up with to trade him to the Heat. It also has been reported that he “would make it ugly” if he were traded to Toronto.
The Trail Blazers recently have engaged in talks with several teams other than the Heat, with the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz mentioned as possibilities in addition to this recent exchange involving the Philadelphia 76ers.
The talks haven’t only had an impact on Lillard, the Trail Blazers and several other organizations. They also have had an effect on current Heat players, including Nikola Jovic, who recently commented on the rumors, and Herro, who has made cryptic posts to social media at times during the process.
With the 2023-24 NBA season about to begin within weeks, a sense of urgency may force a Lillard trade into existence. Otherwise, this scenario may drag into the season and toward the trade deadline. The Heat have to be hoping they will be involved in whatever the outcome might be.