The loss left a very sour taste in the mouths of many Heat fans, with a countless amount demanding changes come in the upcoming offseason.
Portland Trail Blazers superstar guard Damian Lillard is a popular name among players that Heat fans want the team to acquire, and former NBA guard Brandon Jennings seems to believe the team needs to target him.
— Brandon Jennings (@Tuff__Crowd) April 12, 2023
Lillard would help in the department that’s arguably given the Heat their most issues this season: scoring. The seven-time All-Star recorded 32.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game in the 2022-23 regular season while knocking down 46.3 percent of his shots from the field and 37.1 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
The Heat finished last in scoring in the league during the regular season, averaging 109.5 points per game. They were the only team not to average at least 110 points per game.
Scoring once again troubled the Heat on Tuesday night, but it was more so defense and rebounding that doomed them. Miami is now forced to play another game on Friday night, against the winner of the Chicago Bulls-Toronto Raptors play-in game, to see if it makes the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
As for Lillard and the Blazers, their season is already over as they finished with a 33-49 record. There’s been lots of talk about Lillard’s future with the organization. He recently made it clear that he doesn’t want to add any more young talent and prefers to win now.
Damian Lillard says he’s not interested in adding anymore young talent:
“I’m just not interested in that. That’s not a secret. I want a chance to go for it. And if the route is to (draft youth), then that’s not my route.”
(Via The Athletic) pic.twitter.com/FSS5DOHVI7
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) April 10, 2023
The six-time All-NBA selection also said that there are “needle-movers” who want to join the Blazers.
Dame says there are "needle-movers" who want to come to Portland, but now it comes down to acquiring those players.
— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) April 9, 2023
Should the Blazers not be able to make any big moves in the offseason, perhaps Lillard decides to request a trade and puts Miami on his list of preferred destinations.
A big possible roadblock in a potential Heat trade for Lillard would be the assets they would have to send back to Portland. It seems like Adebayo and Jimmy Butler are off limits for anyone across the league, which leaves Tyler Herro as Miami’s most attractive trade piece.
However, one has to imagine that the Blazers wouldn’t want to have an offensive-minded backcourt of Anfernee Simons and Herro after not being able to enjoy much playoff success with a backcourt of Lillard and C.J. McCollum, both of whom are also offensive-minded guards.
For now, all Heat fans can do is imagine about the possibilities and focus on Friday’s do-or-die contest.