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#pounditMonday, May 20, 2024

Trail Blazers planning to play hard ball with Damian Lillard?

Damian Lillard warms up before a game

Mar 19, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) participates in warmups before playing LA Clippers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers roughly two weeks ago, but the team does not seem to be showing any sense of urgency to grant his wish.

Lillard has not shown a willingness to play for any team other than the Miami Heat, which has stripped the Blazers of a tremendous amount of leverage. Despite that, one reporter said this week that the Heat are getting close to fulfilling Portland’s asking price.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald does not believe that is the case. He reported on Friday that the Blazers have been “unmotivated” to complete a deal with Miami. Jackson wonders if Portland may force Lillard into a situation where he has to decide whether he wants to show up to training camp.

The Heat have been trying to find a third team to involve in trade talks. That is probably the only way they are going to satisfy Portland’s high asking price.

If Lillard is truly unwilling to play for any team other than the Heat, that puts the Blazers in an extremely difficult position. They may be better off waiting to see if Lillard changes his mind and adds another team or two to his wish list. As of now, it seems like they are trending in that direction.

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