Reports indicate that the Portland Trail Blazers are not keen on the assets offered by the Miami Heat for a potential Damian Lillard trade this offseason.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned that the Miami Heat won’t engage in a bidding war solely against themselves for Lillard’s acquisition. Lillard has been clear about his desire to be traded to Miami during this offseason.
Earlier, Miami Heat insider Greg Sylvander had predicted a possible trade package that the Heat could use to pursue Lillard.
“Miami remains a team most motivated that has enough assets to eventually, perhaps, outbid the market. The problem is: Portland looks at what Miami has, doesn’t love it, and keeps hoping something better is going to come along. It may or may not.” – (via @wojespn) pic.twitter.com/uCp69laDgi
— Miami Heat Beat (We Just Cover The Team) (@miaheatbeat) July 31, 2023
The proposed package for a potential Damian Lillard trade, as predicted by Miami Heat insider Greg Sylvander, revolved around including Tyler Herro and 2022 first-round pick Nikola Jovic.
Additionally, the trade package included sharpshooter Duncan Robinson for salary-matching purposes, four first-round picks, and three first-round pick swaps.
Although the exact offer from Miami for Lillard remains unclear, it appears that the Portland Trail Blazers are not fully convinced by the proposal, as a trade has not yet been completed.
The Miami Heat are eager for a deal to come to fruition, especially considering they have already seen two key rotation players leave during the offseason.
Guard Gabe Vincent signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, and sharpshooter Max Strus departed for the Cleveland Cavaliers in a sign-and-trade arrangement.
The Blazers has faced challenges in contending over the past two seasons, failing to make the playoffs in both instances.
Although Damian Lillard dealt with injuries during the 2021-22 season, the team still struggled to perform well when he was healthy in the previous season, missing out on the play-in tournament in the highly competitive Western Conference.
Despite these difficulties, Lillard, a seven-time All-NBA selection, showcased his remarkable skills by averaging 32.2 points and 7.3 assists per game, with shooting percentages of 46.3 from the field and 37.1 from beyond the arc last season.
At the moment, Portland can wait and assess potential trade offers for Lillard, but as the 2023-24 season approaches, the pressure to make a decision may increase for the franchise.
Also, with four more seasons under contract, a trade seems to be the only possible path for Lillard to leave the Blazers.