Shams Charania provides latest update on Damian Lillard-to-Miami Heat rumors

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The Damian Lillard trade saga is showing no signs of ending, with NBA insider Shams Charania reporting that very little has changed between the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers.

Lillard requested a trade on July 1 but remains with the Blazers over a month later.

“As The Athletic reported last week, there still is no traction from the Portland Trail Blazers on a Lillard trade, and the All-NBA star’s mindset is steadfast toward desiring a trade only to the Miami Heat,” wrote Charania. “Ever since early July, sources involved in discussions who are unauthorized to speak on the matter said the Heat have been prepared to offer the Trail Blazers a package including three to four first-round picks — with Tyler Herro going to a third team for assets — expiring contracts, a young player such as Nikola Jović and potentially second-round picks and draft swaps.”

The Blazers don’t seem overly anxious to ship Lillard away. Although the Heat seemingly have more leverage than the Blazers in the situation, Portland has shown very little urgency in moving its franchise player, who wants to land specifically with Miami.

It’s a real possibility — and perhaps even a likelihood — that Miami’s offer is the best package Portland is going to get for Lillard. Since the veteran only wants to play for the Heat, any other team would be taking a major gamble by pursing him.

It’s worth noting, however, that Lillard may ultimately report to camp even if the Blazers don’t trade him.

The basketball world is entirely aware of the superstar’s value. The former lottery pick is one of the best shooters in NBA history, and last season, he averaged 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game.

He’d be a huge upgrade for a Heat team that needs help at the point guard position, and other teams around the NBA have reportedly already expressed concern over the idea of a Big 3 featuring Lillard, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

After reaching the 2023 NBA Finals, the Heat may very well be one piece away from getting over the hump, and Lillard is the type of player folks in South Florida have been dreaming of for years.

There’s still plenty of time before the 2023-24 NBA campaign begins, but if the Blazers keep dragging their feet, the Heat may need to start envisioning two plans for the upcoming season: one with Lillard and one without.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.