Over two months have passed since star point guard Damian Lillard requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Miami Heat, yet a recent report indicates that the two teams still aren’t close to getting a deal done.
The Trail Blazers have reportedly continued to be reluctant to engage the Heat in serious trade talks about Lillard.
“A source said this week that Portland generally has continued to be reluctant to engage the Heat in serious talks and has acted disinterested in getting a deal done quickly with Miami, though that conceivably could change as the start of training camp approaches in early October,” Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang wrote.
Jackson and Chiang then went on to write more about the Lillard trade talks.
“If Lillard is traded to a team other than Miami, he is expected to ask to be traded to the Heat,” they wrote.
Lillard was selected with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft after four seasons playing college basketball at Weber State University. He averaged 11-plus points and three-plus rebounds in each of his four seasons as a member of the Wildcats.
His best season of college basketball came during his senior season, the 2011-12 season. Lillard averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game across 32 appearances with the Wildcats (all starts).
The 6-foot-2 point guard’s contributions translated into a whole lot of success for the 2011-12 iteration of the Wildcats. They finished the season with an excellent 25-7 record but missed out on the NCAA Tournament.
Lillard, 33, has played 11 seasons in the NBA, all as a member of the Trail Blazers franchise. He averaged a career-high 32.2 points per game to go along with 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game in 58 games played with the Trail Blazers during the 2022-23 regular season (all starts). The floor general also shot the ball with impressive efficiency from the field, as he converted 46.3 percent of his field-goal attempts and 37.1 percent of his three-point attempts.
Those numbers were good enough for Lillard to earn an All-Star nod — the seventh of his pro career — as well as a spot on the All-NBA Third Team.
Despite Lillard’s fantastic 2022-23 regular season, the Trail Blazers missed out on the postseason. They finished the regular season with a subpar 33-49 record, which was ahead of only the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference standings.
Even though Jackson and Chiang’s report states that the Trail Blazers have been reluctant to discuss a Lillard trade with the Heat, it seems like it’s only a matter of time until the seven-time All-Star ends up in Miami.