Neither player has been moved yet, which has given folks plenty of time to talk about the nature of the trade requests and what they mean for the NBA.
Adam Silver recently weighed in, and he doesn’t seem to like what’s going on, explaining that he wants players and teams to honor their contracts.
“Don’t like them, as a league,” he said regarding Harden’s and Lillard’s trade requests. “I want players and teams to both honor their contracts. I’m watching everything going on in Portland and Philadelphia and hoping they get resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. I’m glad it seems to have calmed down as far as public discourse.”
Lillard is under contract with the Trail Blazers through at least the 2025-26 season and has a player option for the 2026-27 season, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to force his way out of Portland.
Harden, meanwhile, opted into his contract with the Sixers for the 2023-24 season and seemingly did so with the expectation of being traded. The fact that Philadelphia hasn’t found him a new home doesn’t seem to be sitting very well with him.
Of course, the Miami Heat are involved in the Lillard situation, as the 33-year-old wants the Trail Blazers to send him to South Florida. That has certainly impacted the market for the sharpshooter, who received a warning from the league against commenting on wanting to land only with the Heat.
The 2023-24 campaign is getting closer, and there are no guarantees that Lillard and Harden will have new homes by the time the season opens.
For the Heat, the Lillard saga has certainly impacted their offseason and handcuffed their ability to make decisions. If they do eventually add the seven-time All-Star, they’ll be getting a player who averaged 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game last season.
Trade requests have become more common in the NBA in recent years, and they are showing no signs of slowing down. If Silver wants to reduce the frequency of trade requests occurring, he may need to make some policy changes within the league in order to deter such situations from happening.
Lillard has played for the Blazers his entire career. Harden has played for four teams. Time will tell what the future holds for both of them.