Report: Miami Heat were never allowed chance to submit their best offer for Damian Lillard

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Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald stated on X that the Miami Heat didn’t have an opportunity to submit their best offer for former Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard after the Heat made it clear that they wouldn’t consider trading Bam Adebayo.

Back in September of last year, a report surfaced indicating that the Heat had been prepared to offer a hefty package to the Blazers over the summer.

“For their part, league sources say the Heat were prepared in July and August to offer up to three first-round draft picks — with Tyler Herro going to a third team — and multiple second-rounders and swaps along with expiring contracts and 2022 first-round pick Nikola Jović,” NBA insiders Shams Charania and Sam Amick wrote. “But the Blazers were disinterested, with each side developing a level of contentiousness.”

Lillard was ultimately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. As part of the deal, the Trail Blazers netted Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, Jrue Holiday — who was soon after dealt to the Boston Celtics — a 2029 first-round draft pick and two pick swaps.

The floor general reflected on ending up with the Bucks instead of the Heat during a conversation with Marc J. Spears of Andscape.

“Obviously, I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. “Things were up in the air. I mentioned I wanted to go to Miami. I felt like it was a great situation for me and my agent [Aaron Goodwin] was just like, ‘Man, Milwaukee is probably the best basketball situation for you. What you think about Milwaukee?’ And I told him, ‘I love Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. I think it’s a great opportunity for me, but let’s see.’ And I left it to him.

“So, I knew weeks ago that there was a possibility that it could happen. I just didn’t know how [it happens]. So, when it happened, I was like, ‘Man, it actually came back.’”

Both Lillard’s Bucks as well as the Heat are on the brink of elimination in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, as the teams are both in 1-3 holes.

Starting with the Heat, they got off to a solid start to their series against the Celtics, considering they split the first two games of the series in Boston. But the Celtics then went on to dominate Games 3 and 4 in South Florida.

After earning a 20-point victory over the Heat in Game 3, Boston backed up that performance with a 14-point win in Monday night’s Game 4 behind the play of Derrick White, who put together arguably his best game as a Celtic.

White dropped a career-high 38 points on 15-of-26 shooting from the floor and 8-of-15 shooting from 3-point range. The 29-year-old guard also contributed four rebounds, three assists and three blocks.

Moving on to the Bucks, the team has been dealing with an extreme case of the injury bug in its first-round series versus the Indiana Pacers. Antetokounmpo hasn’t taken the floor for Milwaukee in the series, and Lillard sat out Game 4 after participating in Games 1, 2 and 3.

All things considered, it has been a rocky first season for Lillard with the Bucks.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.