Report: Trail Blazers could potentially drag out Damian Lillard trade in order to extract maximum value from Heat

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Everyone in South Florida is seemingly going through a pregnant pause right now, waiting for the Miami Heat to land seven-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard.

But on Monday, Portland Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin seemed to indicate that his team is in no rush to trade Lillard, and insider Adrian Wojnarowski said Portland may drag out the process of dealing the guard in order to get the biggest return possible.

“It’s going to be a process over perhaps this month, August, maybe into September, for Portland to try to extract as much as they can from Miami,” said Wojnarowski.

Lillard officially requested a trade just days ago, and he has let it be known that the Heat are his one preferred destination. In fact, Aaron Goodwin, Lillard’s agent, has reportedly warned that his client would be unhappy if he landed with a team other than Miami.

Such seems like standard operating procedure for a star that wants to be traded and has one clear preference. However, it is rare for a star, once traded, to refuse to report to his new team.

The Heat are coming off their second NBA Finals loss in four seasons, and once again, their lack of offensive firepower was their downfall. Against the Denver Nuggets in this past season’s championship series, they were held to 95 points or fewer in four of the five games played.

During the regular season, they were the only squad to average under 110 points a game. In the modern NBA, teams simply cannot expect to win when they score so few points on a regular basis.

Miami, as a result, has had a tendency to habitually fall behind early in games against quality opponents such as the Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers over the last few years. It has put tons of pressure on the team to huff and puff just to come within striking distance in crunch time.

Needless to say, Lillard would be a panacea for the Heat’s offensive woes, and he may quite possibly make them the co-favorites to win it all along with a Denver team that now has a depleted bench.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s, and during that time he has lived through the Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James era of Heat basketball. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.