NBA insider offers deflating update on Damian Lillard trade talks between Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers'
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ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst revealed that the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are not talking right now in regards to a Damian Lillard trade.

The Heat don’t seem to be budging on what they’re willing to give up for Lillard, who was an All-NBA selection in the 2022-23 season. The seven-time All-Star averaged 32.2 points and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc last season.

Windhorst’s intel lines up with a report from August that said Portland had no interest in doing a deal with Miami at the time for Lillard.

The Blazers would certainly be in rebuild mode if they were to trade Lillard since they have young players like guards Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe and Anfernee Simons that they could build around.

Miami’s best trade chip in a potential Lillard deal is likely former Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro, but the Blazers may not be willing to take on Herro’s contract, especially since he also plays the guard position.

If that’s the case, then Miami would need to reroute Herro to a third team in a potential Lillard deal.

The Blazers have some leverage since Lillard is under contract beyond the 2023-24 season. That means that they could hold onto Lillard and have him sit out until they find a deal that they believe is worth moving him for.

Miami made some moves this offseason, adding guard Josh Richardson to the roster, but it also lost sharpshooter Max Strus and guard Gabe Vincent in free agency.

Without those two players, the Heat have a thinner rotation than they’d probably like with the 2023-24 season approaching rapidly. However, Miami needed to keep its options open for Lillard, and committing long-term money to Strus or Vincent would have made a trade even tougher to complete.

One NBA insider recently predicted that Lillard will join the Heat before training camp. For now, however, it seems like Miami is in a waiting game with the Blazers at this point in the offseason.

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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.