NBA world commends Joe Cronin and Portland Trail Blazers for not settling with Miami Heat'
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Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers made out pretty well in the deal that sent franchise icon Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks.

It’s a good time to evaluate the deal, as Portland agreed to trade Jrue Holiday – who was a part of the package from Milwaukee for Lillard – to the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

In exchange for Holiday, Portland will receive two first-round picks, big man Robert Williams III and guard Malcolm Brogdon. This gives a clearer picture of the final haul for Lillard, though the Blazers could also consider flipping Deandre Ayton, who they received from the Phoenix Suns as part of the Lillard trade.

The Miami Heat had been rumored to be interested in Lillard throughout the offseason, but the Blazers seemingly didn’t want to work with them.

Following the news of the Holiday deal, fans on social media reacted to Portland’s final haul for Lillard and immediately started making comparisons to Miami’s offer.

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson explained that the Blazers and general manager Joe Cronin ultimately got more for Lillard than Miami could have reasonably offered the team.

Former NBA big man and current analyst Kendrick Perkins expressed excitement for the Blazers’ future.

It was noted that Portland still has some flippable pieces that could make the haul for Lillard even greater.

One NBA writer, Action Network’s Matt Moore, seemed to troll Heat fans a bit by bringing up the fact that Miami made a run to the Finals without Herro. It’s possible that that reality hurt the Heat guard’s value and made Holiday – an All-Star last season – a more valuable trade chip.

Dan Le Batard pointed out that not only did the Heat miss out on Lillard, but the Blazers made two of Miami’s key competitors in the East — Boston and Milwaukee — better because of the Lillard deal.

Even though Herro, who is a former Sixth Man of the Year, had a good season in the 2022-23 campaign, he took some shots on Sunday from those questioning his value.

Portland ended up with a haul, with Kevin O’Connor saying the team played it “perfectly.”

Unfortunately for Heat fans, Milwaukee was able to make the better offer for Lillard, and Miami may now need to face the star guard in the playoffs to get to the NBA Finals this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.