The Miami Heat have a trade offer in mind for Damian Lillard that revolves around Tyler Herro, and they reportedly aren’t really negotiating away from that because they believe that’s the best offer the Portland Trail Blazers are going to get, according to Miami sports personality Dan Le Batard.
Dan Le Batard goes off on Woj pic.twitter.com/0QfEniBUpz
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) July 17, 2023
“This is the Heat’s position,” Le Batard said. “There are no calls going back and forth. The offer is Herro, and Herro’s the best one you’re gonna get from anybody. He’s better than [Tyrese] Maxey. He’s the best you’re gonna get.
“You’re boxed in. Lillard wants to be with us. This is the offer. It’s not calls going back and forth. There are no calls going back and forth.”
The former Miami Herald reporter and ESPN host was responding to reports, including some by ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, that the Trail Blazers are willing to hold out for weeks or months in search of a better deal, perhaps involving Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lillard reportedly will only accept a trade to the Heat, which has severely diminished the Trail Blazers’ leverage. If Miami is the only available destination, and Portland truly is going to move on from its franchise player, the Trail Blazers may have no choice but to settle for the Heat’s best offer, which Le Batard says is firmly locked into Herro.
“It’s the offer, and they’re saying, ‘Show us someone who’s better at that age that you’re going to get anywhere in the league from anyone, given that Lillard is only gonna play here,'” Le Batard said. “Be happy with Herro.”
Herro himself has reportedly been telling people he expects to be traded, so he apparently knows his role in this situation too.
The difficult equation has put the Heat in an uncomfortable holding pattern so far this offseason with them losing players while making no major additions. Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and Victor Oladipo are elsewhere, and if Herro also departs, Miami will have lost four of its top eight scorers from last season.
Lillard would certainly make up for a lot of that after he averaged 32.2 points per game last season, his 11th with Portland. A Big 3 of him, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would likely keep the Heat in championship contention for at least the next couple of seasons.
Herro is 23 years old and averaged 20.1 points per game last season after scoring 20.7 points per game in the 2021-22 season. Maxey is 22 years old and averaged 20.5 points per game in the playoffs last season and 20.8 points per game in the 2022 playoffs.
Herro is about to begin a four-year, $120 million contract extension he agreed to in October. Maxey is under a $4.3 million club option this season before he can become a restricted free agent.
It has been reported that a third team would need to become involved to make a trade work between the Heat and Trail Blazers. If Le Batard is to be believed, Herro will remain a primary part of whatever that deal winds up being.