It’s been a month since Damian Lillard asked the Portland Trail Blazers to be traded to the Miami Heat. Despite a series of updates, including an NBA-memo cautioning Lillard and his management from dissuading non-Miami teams trading for him, nothing has changed in the past 31 days.
ESPN’s Wojnarowski told NBA Today part of the stalemate was the size of Lillard’s contract, which is set to top $63 million in his 36-year-old season. Wojnarowski also highlighted differences between Lillard’s trade request and Anthony Davis quest to join the Los Angeles Lakers from the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019.
“Lillard doesn’t have that leverage (that Davis did) because he has four years, over $175 million left on his contract and that’s what is part of what’s holding up the trade market, that’s part of why there is not the feeding frenzy people thought there might be for a Damian Lillard trade.
“It’s not because teams think that if we traded for Damian Lillard, he wouldn’t play hard for us, he’d be too unhappy here. It wouldn’t make for a good enough environment for us to take him on. That has not been the issue with teams.”
It’s simply been the idea, his age and the idea of paying him over $60 million at 35 and 36 years old, the last two years of his deal.
Miami remains the team most motivated that has enough assets to perhaps outbid the market, problem is Portland looks at what Miami has, doesn’t love it and hopes something better will come along. It may or may not.
Miami Herald reporter Barry Jackson suggests the Blazers haven’t shown any interest in dealing with the Heat.
Per source, Portland has remained disinclined to engage Heat in serious trade discussions on Lillard. Blazers acting disinterested about dealing him here. One would think Blazers would get serious about this at some point, but they're still not engaging Miami in negotiations— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) August 1, 2023
However, the Athletic’s Shams Charania suggested the Heat are currently working to improve their offer, which could include three-to-four first round draft picks, draft swaps, second round picks, expiring contracts, young players.
More on the saga as it develops. Daily. Like that Advent Calendar you opened before Christmas as a kid. Except instead of chocolates, you get tweets. And the hope that Santa will come someday. And you want a Giannis or Nic Claxton, but knowing your family, you’re pretty sure it’s going to be a Tyler Herro instead.