“Miami doesn't have all the assets Blazers want in return for Dame. So Heat want to know what do we have to get out there. What teams do we have to get involved to make this work & so far the communication is just not there. That's making this frustrating for Miami" @ChrisBHaynes pic.twitter.com/pQXaIR22p2
— Dru (@dru_star) July 21, 2023
A team that spoke with Portland said it's skeptical that the Blazers actually want to trade him (at least yet). PERHAPS the end qame is to get Lillard to report to camp and play for them, unless he makes it really messy. https://t.co/4VVOvdEm9M
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) July 21, 2023
The sides obviously have not found common ground on what it would take to finally bring the 33-year-old to Miami, but what seems to be a sticking point is that the Trail Blazers reportedly aren’t providing the Heat with any ideas on how to get closer to completing a deal.
The Heat’s offer reportedly is centered on Tyler Herro, but even if he isn’t enough to satisfy the Trail Blazers, Miami could draw in other teams for a more expansive trade to satisfy all sides.
Portland’s leverage is limited by Lillard’s trade request and stated desire that he wants to play only for Miami. The Heat’s negotiating stance is hindered by their reported intention to keep as many of their secondary players as possible after losing Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and Victor Oladipo this offseason.
In fact, Gilbert Arenas recently said Miami “f—– up” by moving on from Vincent and Strus rather than using them as part of talks to get Lillard.
The Trail Blazers reportedly are willing to wait as long as it takes to get a deal they find acceptable, if they want to trade Lillard at all. Though there are no NBA games for months, the hold-up likely is keeping the Heat from making other moves this offseason. They reportedly have some level of interest in Christian Wood and Danilo Gallinari, among others, and Goran Dragic seems to have interest in a reunion.
The drawn-out process hasn’t stopped Heat star Jimmy Butler from having a little fun with it, as he recently was seen mimicking some of Lillard’s favorite celebrations, including the tapping of an imaginary watch to signal “Dame Time.”
Portland, for its part, also seems to have been hamstrung by the lengthy negotiations, having not done major work in free agency while re-signing Jerami Grant and Matisse Thybulle.
It clearly seems in the best interest of all parties to work out a Lillard trade. But if the current offer isn’t going to get it done, and there’s no discussion of other alternatives, the waiting game could go on for a while longer.