Damian Lillard Trade Rumors: ‘No Progress at All’ on Heat-Blazers Talks for Star

Damian Lillard Trade Rumors: ‘No Progress at All’ on Heat-Blazers Talks for Star

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 12, 2023

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots against the Utah Jazz in the firs half during an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger)

AP Photo/Jeff Swinger

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard reportedly covets a trade to the Miami Heat, but there has been no traction of late regarding any move on that front.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported the latest on the Lowe Post podcast (51:30 mark).

“The buzz going around Vegas is they are not entirely bluffing when they say, ‘If he’s on our team in training camp, he’s on our team in training camp. We’re okay with that.’

“Maybe they are, maybe they’re not, but that’s certainly what they’re signaling and clearly there’s been no progress at all so to speak of, with the deal with the Heat.”

Blazers general manager Joe Cronin has made it clear that (a) he’s going to do “what’s best for our team” and (b) he’s willing to wait “months” for something suitable to come to fruition.

And so Lillard and the Blazers are at an impasse.

Both sides are ultimately doing what is best for themselves. Lillard, understandably, wants a change after 11 years in Portland, where he made seven All-Star teams and seven All-NBA teams.

He led the Blazers to the playoffs eight straight seasons, but the team is further away from a championship than it’s ever been in the Lillard era after two straight years outside the postseason. A move to the Eastern Conference champion Heat makes perfect sense on paper, as he could take over the point form a new big three with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

At the same time, Cronin is right to want as much as possible in return, even if it meets not honoring the Miami request. Lillard just averaged 32.2 points per game and has plenty left in the tank. He’s turning 33 on July 15 but remains one of the game’s greatest scorers and can instantly be a championship-winning piece wherever he lands.

Right now, though, everyone appears to be in limbo, and there’s no imminent end in sight.

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