Throughout this summer, the Miami Heat have been looking to land Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, but to no avail. However, with training camp nearing, things may be starting to get serious.
The Heat are reportedly conversing with a number of other teams in order to get the Blazers to accept some sort of return for Lillard they would deem satisfactory.
“But the Heat are believed to be having conversations with teams outside of Portland as they try to put a framework together to present the Blazers front office,” wrote Wes Goldberg of Fansided. “Those talks have included the Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns, league sources told AllUCanHeat/Locked On Heat.”
According to Marc Spears, Miami has offered Portland a package based on former Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro and two first-round draft picks. But one insider has said the Blazers simply do not want to engage with Miami, and in the meantime, the Toronto Raptors are being talked about as perhaps the new frontrunner to land Lillard.
The Heat are coming off their second trip to the NBA Finals in four years. But both trips have resulted in losses, and it is clear that they need a serious injection of offensive firepower if they are to get over the hump and hang banner No. 4.
Last season, they were last in points per game, and during the championship series versus the Denver Nuggets, they scored 95 points or fewer in four of five games. Other than Jimmy Butler and occasionally Herro, they lack players who can consistently attack opponents, especially off the dribble, and it has resulted in them having to play from behind against elite teams.
If Lillard ever comes to South Florida, he could give the Heat an outstanding costar next to Butler and big man Bam Adebayo, and he would take lots of pressure off both of them on a game-by-game basis. In addition, he would provide another deadly option in crunch time along with Butler.
But it looks like team president Pat Riley will have to beef up his offers if he is to ever call Lillard one of his own.