Damian Lillard candidly speaks on Portland Trail Blazers reaching stage of ‘no communication’ with Miami Heat

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Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks star guard Damian Lillard recently opened up on his trade request this offseason from the Portland Trail Blazers, sharing that he did indeed want to go to the Miami Heat.

However, the Portland Trail Blazers ended up dealing Lillard to the Bucks in a three-team deal with the Phoenix Suns that sent Jrue Holiday and Deandre Ayton to Portland.

It’s disappointing for Heat fans that Lillard wanted to play in Miami given how things turned out, but it seems like Portland wasn’t exactly interested in negotiating with the team.

The Heat likely would have packaged Tyler Herro, draft capital and some young talent to make a deal for Lillard.

The NBA world gave the Blazers a ton of credit for the package they received for Lillard, especially after the team flipped Holiday to the Boston Celtics.

The deal with Boston brought two more draft picks to the Blazers as well as guard Malcolm Brogdon and big man Robert Williams III. Those players could be used as trade chips down the line as well.

Heat guard Tyler Herro also recently revealed that Miami told him that a deal for Lillard wasn’t going to happen. As much as the former Blazers star wanted to play for the Heat, it appears Miami knew it was going to be tough to create an offer Portland would actually accept.

Holiday, an All-Star last season, was a great trade piece because of his pedigree and contract. The guard has one year remaining on his contract plus a player option for the 2024-25 season.

That may have made him an easier player for Portland to flip via trade than Herro would have been, as the Heat guard has several years remaining on his contract.

With Lillard now on the Bucks, the team is expected to be one of the best in the NBA. The Heat may have to go through Lillard and the Bucks in the Eastern Conference if they want to make the NBA Finals this season.

Miami knocked the Bucks out of the playoffs last season, and the team still has a ton of talent, headlined by Herro, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.

Adding Lillard would have been a nice move, but Miami now needs to focus on getting the most out of the current group for 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.