NBA world reacts to Miami Heat losing out on Damian Lillard

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“Dame Time” finally ran out on the Miami Heat on Wednesday, with the Portland Trail Blazers reportedly trading Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-way deal that includes the Phoenix Suns.

As expected, it drew instant reactions from around the NBA, including from Heat star Jimmy Butler.

“Yo, NBA man, y’all need to look into the Bucks for tampering,” Butler said. “Y’all do. I’m just gon’ put that out there. Y’all didn’t hear it from me, but I heard it through somebody.”

The Heat were thought to be the ultimate landing spot for Lillard ever since he requested a trade from the Trail Blazers almost three months ago. The fact it did not end up that way drew other reactions of surprise from NBA players and observers, including Darius Garland and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins.

Others weighed in on how the trade affects the Bucks, and ESPN pundit Shannon Sharpe was bragging that he predicted the seven-time All-Star would ultimately end up in Milwaukee.

Josh Hart of the New York Knicks extended an invitation to the newest Bucks player with the teams scheduled to meet at Madison Square Garden on Christmas Day.

Not only did the Heat fail to add the player they have coveted for the entire offseason, he wound up with an Eastern Conference rival that will be a main competitor this season. Adding Lillard to Giannis Antetokounmpo will undoubtedly propel the Bucks among the top favorites to win the NBA championship.

The Trail Blazers apparently were not willing to deal with the Heat based on what they were offering, with one of the latest reports saying they were basically telling Miami to “eat s—.

Portland instead chose a deal that reportedly gets them Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, Milwaukee’s 2029 unprotected first-round draft pick, and unprotected Milwaukee swap rights in 2028 and 2030, sources told ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Suns reportedly will receive Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson.

It is unknown where the Heat will go from here. They still should field a formidable team with Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro leading the way.

But the news that came down Wednesday had to hurt the Heat. How quickly they recover could determine their fortunes for the 2023-24 season and beyond.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.