Some other teams that have been linked to the top-tier scorer include the Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers. However, it seems like Lillard has his sights completely set on the Heat. That might be enough to deter other teams from making a deal for him.
“One involved source predicted that Lillard’s one-team list will deter other suitors and greatly increase his chances of ending up with the Heat,” wrote the Miami Herald‘s Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson.
If the market dries up for Lillard, that would only benefit the Heat. In that case, the team would then possibly be able to offer a less valuable package for the seven-time All-Star.
Lillard is coming off arguably the best season of his career, recording 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game last season while knocking down 46.3 percent of his shots from the field and 37.1 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
However, he was unable to lead the Trail Blazers back to the playoffs, as they struggled on their way to a 33-49 record. Portland has now missed the playoffs in each of head coach Chauncey Billups’ two seasons with the organization.
A greater chance to win a title is among the reasons why Lillard wants to join the Heat. Heat stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are also big reasons why the seven-time All-NBA selection is eyeing a change of scenery.
Last season, Miami made it all the way to the NBA Finals despite having to go through the play-in tournament and nearly being eliminated by the Chicago Bulls at home in its second play-in game.
The Heat took down the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics before running into the Denver Nuggets. They were unable to slow down Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and company and wound up losing the series in five games.
Throughout the Finals, it became clear that one of the key pieces the Heat were missing was an elite scorer like Lillard. Bringing in the former first-round pick would instantly upgrade an offense that ranked dead last in scoring last season.
It’ll be interesting to see what type of package the Heat send over if a deal gets done, though it seems certain Tyler Herro would be involved in any trade.
Some of his recent social media activity has raised some speculation about his future. For now, however, all anyone can do is wait and see what happens.