We’re nearly two months removed from Damian Lillard’s trade request from the Portland Trail Blazers, yet he remains part of the roster.
The Blazers, trudging along in the dog days of the offseason, are in no rush to trade Dame, especially considering the fact that Lillard still is under contract with Portland until the 2026-27 season.
Bleacher Report’s Adam Fromal has made a pair of bold predictions surrounding Lillard.
So much for Lillard being a one-franchise legend. The relationship between him and the Blazers doesn’t seem like it’s getting repaired anytime soon, but logical outcomes are few and far between. The roller-coaster ride will continue for a while longer.
The Heat get their guy after negotiations drag into the regular season. Lillard immediately meshes with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and the Heat match up with the Nuggets for a second time in two years.
The Heat should be considered a favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference if it acquires Lillard, especially considering the fact that Miami reached the Finals without him in 2020 and 2023. But it may be in the Blazers’ best interest to let negotiations move into the regular season.
As previously stated, the Blazers have no reason to rush this process. In the absolute worst-case scenario, Dame holds out of training camp and sits out of regular season games, but Lillard is the one that loses more in that deal. The Blazers keep their rebuilding job going if Lillard isn’t in the picture and Dame loses money from fines.
Ultimately, the Blazers are trying to get the best offer possible out of the Heat, and if this process drags into the regular season, that’s the time when Miami could add on a little more icing on the cake to solidify the deal.