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REPORTS : Damian Lillard’s Willingness to “Make it Ugly“ if Traded to Raptors Revives Heat’s Hopes

Despite recent reports highlighting the Toronto Raptors’ strong desire to acquire Damian Lillard, another source suggests that Lillard might strongly resist joining the Raptors this offseason.

According to Ethan Skolnick from Five on the Floor, a reporter with a close connection to Lillard’s agent mentioned that Lillard could have significant reservations about being traded to Toronto, describing it as a situation where he might “make it ugly.”

“Toronto is a place that Dame would make it ugly,” Skolnick said. “He didn’t mention Chicago. He didn’t mention any other teams. He mentioned Toronto as a place that Dame would make it ugly. And I know for a fact, 100 percent, that this particular reporter has a great relationship with Dame’s agent and has for a very long time.”

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The Miami Heat are actively pursuing a trade for Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers this offseason.

However, as of now, both teams have not reached an agreement on the trade terms.

Reports have indicated that if Lillard is traded to any team other than the Miami Heat this offseason, he would request a trade to the Heat.

This condition could deter other teams from pursuing the seven-time All-NBA selection. It appears that Toronto is one of those teams, as Lillard has shown no inclination to play for them.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the Portland Trail Blazers have engaged in trade discussions involving Damian Lillard with teams other than the Miami Heat.

However, Wojnarowski also left open the possibility of the Heat entering the fray, suggesting that all it takes is one pivotal moment and a single phone call.

Damian Lillard continues to be among the NBA’s premier guards and would represent a substantial upgrade for the Miami Heat, particularly in the point guard position.

In the previous season, Lillard averaged impressive stats, including 32.2 points and 7.3 assists per game, with shooting percentages of 46.3% from the field and 37.1% from beyond the three-point line.

The Heat find themselves in need of guard reinforcements, especially with Gabe Vincent’s departure to the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.

While the team still has Kyle Lowry, who is entering the final year of his contract, Lowry has faced injury challenges during his tenure with the Heat.

Acquiring a talent like Lillard would undoubtedly elevate Miami’s offensive capabilities significantly.

On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors also require assistance in the guard position after Fred VanVleet’s departure to the Houston Rockets in free agency.

However, making a case for trading for Lillard becomes challenging if he has reservations about playing for the organization.

From the Heat’s perspective, Lillard’s reluctance to join other teams would work in their favor, potentially weakening the Blazers’ bargaining position.

As of now, Heat fans must patiently await developments to see if the two sides can come to terms on a trade for Damian Lillard before the commencement of the 2023-24 season.

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