Brian Windhorst says he’d put the Miami Heat ‘on the list’ for Damian Lillard if he were to become available

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Portland Trail Blazers superstar guard Damian Lillard is no stranger to getting linked to the Miami Heat, and NBA insider Brian Windhorst recently connected the two sides once again.

“I think the Heat are on the cusp of looking for another star maneuver,” Windhorst said on his podcast. “I would put them on the list for Dame Lillard if Dame ends up getting traded.

“If he goes to market, I think the Heat are on that list. I don’t know if they have enough. A lot of their offer would be built around Tyler Herro, who’s just injured. But I suspect, I don’t know for sure, just to be clear, I don’t know for sure that they would offer him, but I would suspect that that would be the type of thing, that and draft picks.”

As Windhorst alluded to, a Heat offer for Lillard would likely be built around Herro. One anonymous NBA executive recently stated that a potential Heat-Blazers trade for Lillard starts with Herro.

It’s unclear exactly how interested the Blazers would be in receiving a package headlined by the University of Kentucky product. If they were to take back Herro as the main piece in a trade, they would then have another offensive-minded backcourt of Anfernee Simons and Herro.

One has to figure that Portland would want to go in a different route than that one after not being able to experience much playoff success with a different offensive-minded backcourt of Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Other Heat assets that could be included in the trade include some first-round picks as well as rookie big man Nikola Jovic, who hasn’t played much this season after dealing with a back injury.

Upon the completion of the 2022-23 season, the Heat will be able to trade their 2023 and 2028 first-round picks. They currently owe the Oklahoma City Thunder a first-round pick that will convey in 2025 or 2026.

The 2025 pick is a lottery-protected selection. Should the Heat end up in the lottery for the 2025 NBA Draft, they would then owe the Thunder their 2026 first-round selection. That pick would convey automatically due to it having no protections.

Miami could look to amend the protections on the 2025 pick in order to free up another first-round selection for a Lillard trade.

A trade involving Lillard, Herro, Jovic and Victor Oladipo works, though Oladipo recently suffered a season-ending injury and holds a player option for next season. It’s unclear whether or not the Heat would be willing to trade him.

In this imagined scenario, the Heat, having hypothetically amended the protections on the pick owed to the Thunder, would be able to add three first-round picks to the deal.

Damian Lillard, Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo and Nikola Jovic

For now, Miami is undoubtedly more focused on closing out the Milwaukee Bucks in their first-round playoff series. The Heat are currently up 3-1 on the No. 1-seeded Bucks and have a chance to finish things off on Wednesday night in Milwaukee.

Should the Bucks win Game 5, the series would shift back to South Florida for a Game 6 on Friday night.

Portland is already in its offseason, as it finished with a 33-49 record this season.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate with experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.