The Miami Heat’s pursuit of Damian Lillard has stalled for much of the past weeks. But with training camp nearing, it seems that trade talks are heating up again.
Notable NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski has already provided an optimistic update for Heat fans, stating that the Portland Trail Blazers “have done a lot more talking with teams” recently, although he didn’t mention Miami specifically.
Heat insider and analyst Greg Sylvander also reported that the organizations potentially involved in a Lillard trade, including Portland and Miami, have made some progress in the past few days.
The rumors could spell good news for Lillard, who has already declared his desire to start fresh away from Portland, the team that he has played for since 2012. The Blazers could have begun the process earlier, but it seems they want a bigger haul than what was previously available for their superstar. Unfortunately for them, the type of package the Utah Jazz got for Rudy Gobert last year doesn’t exist, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
Perhaps the Blazers were also hoping that Lillard would change his mind and choose to remain in Portland instead. However, the fact that the franchise drafted his heir apparent in Scoot Henderson probably didn’t sit well with the seven-time All-Star.
The Blazers are likely better off shipping the 33-year-old away and rebuilding around Henderson. After all, they were unable to build a consistent championship-contending roster around the star point guard. The farthest they have gotten with Lillard as the main guy is the Western Conference Finals in 2019. That series ended in a sweep at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. Since then, Portland has failed to get past the first round, missing the playoffs altogether the past two years.
On the other hand, the Heat have been to three conference finals in the past four seasons, reaching the Finals twice in that stretch. Lillard joining forces with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo could prove to be the recipe for a successful title run.
Only time will tell if the NBA 75th Anniversary Team selection lands on his preferred franchise. Such an outcome could give him his best chance of securing an elusive ring and allow the Heat to win their fourth championship.