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Damian Lillard Cites Heat, Nets as Acceptable Trade Destinations

The All-Star expects to stay in Portland, but compliments Miami and Brooklyn

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard expects to be in Portland when the 2023-24 NBA season begins, but also says he’d be interested in joining the Miami Heat or Brooklyn Nets should the possibility arise. Appearing on Showtime Sports’ “The Last Stand”, Lillard answers frankly about his future in Portland. The salient discussion begins just after the 49:00 mark.

While Lillard is clear that Portland remains his home, while discussing hypothetical trade scenarios he expresses appreciation for Heat center Bam Adebayo and Nets wing Mikal Bridges. He also calls the Miami and Brooklyn rosters “capable”.

The 32-year-old guard put up a career-best 32.2 points per game last season after returning from abdominal surgery. Despite that, the Blazers missed the playoffs for the second year in a row, leading to increased speculation about Lillard’s happiness, and occasionally even his fit, in Portland. The Blazers own the third overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. They’re expected to seek trade offers for that asset, attempting to bring in veteran help for Lillard. Should that not materialize, Lillard has already gone on record against being part of a rebuilding movement in Portland.

The Heat have few assets with which to lure the Blazers into a trade for the veteran guard, but the Nets have a considerable haul of draft picks and players, both their own and those gained from mid-season trades of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last season.