The Miami Heat wanted to land a premier guard over the offseason. They were interested in players like Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday, and they were actually willing to give up more in a trade for Holiday than Lillard, according to Five Reasons Sports.
It was more overall pick currency , and Martin also.
— Five Reasons Sports 🏀🏈⚾️🏒⚽️ (@5ReasonsSports) December 3, 2023
When it came to Lillard, the Heat reportedly had concerns about the star guard’s age, contract and defensive ability. While Holiday is the same age as Lillard, he’s a much better defender, and he’s currently on a more team-friendly deal. Holiday is a very solid offensive player as well, so it makes sense that Miami might have been willing to give up more to land him than Lillard.
Notably, the Heat weren’t crazy about the idea of parting with Caleb Martin in a potential deal with the Portland Trail Blazers for Lillard, but they evidently were more willing to do so for Holiday. Martin was a key contributor during Miami’s run to the NBA Finals last season, and the Heat clearly value what he brings to the team. It also sounds like Miami was willing to part with more draft capital to land Holiday.
Miami was long mentioned as a potential landing spot for Lillard, but the star guard was ultimately traded from the Trail Blazers to the Milwaukee Bucks in September. He joined Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee to form one of the most formidable duos in the entire league. Lillard originally requested a trade away from Portland in July after spending the first 11 seasons of his career with the franchise.
Holiday was traded to the Blazers in the Lillard deal before later being sent to the Boston Celtics. He’s now part of one of the league’s best defensive backcourts alongside Derrick White. Though he’s happy in his new home, Holiday was surprised to be traded away from Milwaukee without warning after spending his previous three seasons with the Bucks and helping the team win a title in 2021.
“A warning would’ve been cool,” Holiday said of the trade. “But other than that, I’m in the best place that I can be to compete against them, which is for the top team in the East and, hopefully, the top team in the league.”
Ultimately, the Heat failed to land either Lillard or Holiday. Instead, they brought back a roster similar to the one from last season, and the results have been mixed so far. Nearly a quarter of the way through the season, the Heat sit at 11-9, which is good for seventh in the Eastern Conference.