Damian Lillard completely shook the NBA world on Saturday by requesting a trade to the Miami Heat. The Portland Trail Blazers star’s future has been the topic of much discussion over the past few months.
According to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, the Heat are prepared to offer the Trail Blazers a package headlined around youngster Tyler Herro.
“The Heat are prepared to offer a package centered around Tyler Herro, with possibly Duncan Robinson and picks, sources say,” Haynes wrote. “The Heat would prefer to keep Caleb Martin out of any trade scenarios.”
Lillard reportedly also wants the Heat to not part ways with Martin in a trade with him. It’ll be interesting to see if the Trail Blazers play hardball with the Heat or easily facilitate a deal to make their franchise star happy.
Dame Lillard would prefer Bam, Jimmy & Caleb Martin remain in Miami per source.
I think Portland will accept those terms.
— Greg Sylvander (@GregSylvander) July 1, 2023
Source said Lillard wants Miami because he loves the city;has great respect for Jimmy & Heat and is good friends with Bam.And chance to win.Portland hasn't specifically told him yet that it will agree to try to trade him to Miami,but I would be surprised if they don't accommodate
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) July 1, 2023
Miami offers Lillard a phenomenal chance to accomplish his goal of winning an NBA title. The team is coming off an NBA Finals appearance in the 2022-23 season, though it lost to the Denver Nuggets in five games.
During that series, it became apparent that the Heat needed an elite scorer like Lillard to play alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Too many of the Heat’s role players went cold during the Finals, and those struggles were a big reason why the team looked overmatched at times against the Nuggets.
The 32-year-old Lillard is coming off arguably the best season of his 11-year career, averaging 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game on 46.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Over the past couple of seasons, Lillard has had some trouble staying healthy, but he isn’t really known to be injury-prone.
One can only wonder if the Heat and Trail Blazers will be able to come to terms on a deal quickly or if negotiations will drag out for a long part of the offseason.
The Heat appear to have no problem waiting patiently for their No. 1 offseason target, who could help the team get over the hump this coming season.