Aaron Goodwin, Damian Lillard’s agent, is calling teams and warning them against trading for the seven-time All-Star because of his desire to be moved to the Miami Heat, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
A recent report stated that things would get “uncomfortable” if Portland tried to move Lillard to a team other than Miami.
“As [Joe] Cronin explores the broader landscape, Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, has been calling prospective trade partners and warning against trading for his client, team executives told ESPN,” Wojnarowski wrote. “Goodwin is telling organizations outside of Miami that trading for Lillard is trading for an unhappy player. As interference goes, this is a time-honored agent maneuver to depress offers and clear a path to a predetermined destination.”
While the Blazers don’t appear completely ready to give into Lillard’s demands, it’s going to be hard for another team to justify trading for the star guard if he doesn’t want to be there.
According to Wojnarowski, Cronin – the Blazers’ general manager – has been clear with other teams that they will consider their offers for Lillard.
The Heat certainly would love to land Lillard this offseason after losing two rotation players in Max Strus and Gabe Vincent, but the team is likely going to have to pay up in the trade market to make the move worth it for Portland.
During the 2022-23 season, Lillard was great for the Blazers, but the team failed to make the play-in tournament in the Western Conference. The seven-time All-NBA selection 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.
It’s clear that at this stage of his career he wants to compete for a playoff spot and NBA title, and Miami is one of the best places for him to do that. The Heat made the NBA Finals last season as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Goodwin seems determined to help Lillard reach his desired destination, but it’s always possible another team could swoop in and make an offer the Blazers can’t refuse.
It appears that would be a risky move since Lillard would be unhappy, but the star guard doesn’t have a no-trade clause to block that type of deal this offseason.