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#pounditSaturday, May 25, 2024

Latest Damian Lillard trade update remains bad news for Heat

Damian Lillard in a Blazers jersey

Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a month since Damian Lillard submitted a trade request to the Portland Trail Blazers brass. After all that time, Dame’s future remains as murky as ever.

Lillard has reportedly been adamant that he wants to end up on the Miami Heat. Reports and speculation have been pouring out for weeks about how such a deal could happen. The rumored framework would require a third team to get involved given that the Blazers aren’t a great fit for likely Heat trade centerpiece, Tyler Herro.

But rather than chip away until both teams find common ground for a trade, Portland reportedly continues to act “disinterested” in getting a deal done. According to Heat reporter Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Blazers “remain disinclined to engage” the Heat in “serious trade discussions” for Lillard as of Monday.

Blazers general manager Joe Cronin has already stated that he’s willing to wait on any Lillard trade, even if it takes months. Cronin is holding true to his word entering month number two.

Portland is clearly trying to leverage the situation to find the best trade return possible for Lillard. Limiting themselves to just one team in the Heat — that doesn’t have a bounty of picks or assets — won’t help them maximize value for their longtime star.

However, things will start to get more interesting once the NBA season draws even closer. With Lillard’s heir apparent Scoot Henderson already in the building, the Blazers would likely have to re-engage in trade talks sometime in the offseason. If not, there is the potential for an awkward overlap of eras once the 2023-34 season begins.

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