Report: Damian Lillard would show up to Portland Trail Blazers training camp if he isn’t traded

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If the Miami Heat can’t complete a trade for Damian Lillard this offseason, the veteran guard reportedly will report to training camp with the Portland Trail Blazers heading into the 2023-24 NBA campaign.

The 33-year-old has been steadfast in his desire to play for Miami since requesting a trade from Portland on July 1. Agent Aaron Goodwin has relayed that desire, even reportedly going so far as warning other teams that his client wouldn’t report to them, which drew a threat of discipline from the NBA about Lillard honoring his contract.

That contract, which includes a salary of $45.6 million for this season, is the motivation for Lillard to continue to toil for Portland, at least according to Trail Blazers insider Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian. The seven-time All-Star is entering his 12th season with the Trail Blazers, having gotten as far as the Western Conference Finals just once and missing the playoffs the past two seasons.

NBA training camps will open up for most teams on Oct. 3. That gives the Heat and Trail Blazers two more months to work out a trade, though they haven’t been able to do so in a month so far.

Miami continues to try to concoct a deal that satisfies Portland, which is holding out for as much as it can to let go of its longtime franchise player who averaged a career-high 32.2 points per game last season.

The Heat reportedly won’t have to worry about the league nixing a trade, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver not expected to step in despite the perceived orchestration of the situation by Lillard and his agent.

But Goodwin’s comments may have already accomplished what he wanted with no other team reported to be actively pursuing Lillard. In addition, an NBA coach said Miami holds more leverage than Portland with how this has played out.

The Athletic has reported that the Heat’s most recent trade package includes expiring contracts, multiple first-round picks and one younger player, with Miami guard Tyler Herro going to a third team. It also may involve second-round selections and pick swaps.

That offer hasn’t been able to get a deal done yet, but maybe things will change as training camp and the NBA season draw closer.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.