Former NBA player says Damian Lillard should join the Miami Heat'
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Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard is one of the more loyal players in the NBA, and he’s made it clear on several occasions that he wants to win a championship with the team that selected him back in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Despite that, there are people that think Lillard should ask for a trade from Portland to chase an NBA championship.

On a recent episode of the “All the Smoke” podcast, former NBA players Kevin Garnett, Matt Barnes, Stephen Jackson and Paul Pierce weighed in on the Lillard situation.

While they all had their own thoughts, Jackson believes that Lillard should try to get himself on the Miami Heat.

Jackson thinks that the Heat should move on from Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry if it meant bringing Lillard into the fold. That’s a hefty asking price for the Heat, especially since they just locked Herro up to a long-term deal.

“Dame needs to go to Miami,” Jackson said. “… Kyle Lowry and all them — bring Dame over there. Herro ain’t play well. He ain’t finish up last year. You can get rid of Kyle, and you can add other shooting if you want to. Matter of fact, we’ll throw a fourth one in there for Dame if that’s the case.”

Lillard, a six-time All-Star, dealt with injuries in the 2021-22 season. However, he was still somewhat effective when he played, as he averaged 24.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 40.2 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from beyond the arc.

The Blazers appear to be committed to building around Lillard, as they traded for veteran forward Jerami Grant this offseason. Grant, a proven two-way player, should help raise the Blazers’ ceiling in the 2022-23 campaign after they struggled without Lillard last season.

Even though Jackson thinks that Lillard and Miami would be a perfect match, it’s hard to see the Heat parting ways with multiple assets to bring in Lillard at this point in his career.

That isn’t to say that Lillard can’t be a star in Miami, but the veteran guard is owed over $42 million per season in each of the next three seasons.

The Heat have built a deep roster through the draft and free agency, but they’d likely need to part ways with multiple players and draft picks in a hypothetical Lillard deal.

It also seems like as long as Lillard wants to be in Portland, the organization is fine with him leading the franchise after all he’s done for it.

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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.