4-Team Trade Proposal Gives Heat Damian Lillard & All-Star Forward: ‘Everybody Wins’

Jimmy Butler

Getty Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat

With the 2023-24 NBA season approaching on October 24, time could become a factor in the Miami Heat’s quest to trade for Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard.

The Trail Blazers’ 2023 camp begins on October 3, and it would be ideal for all involved if Dame could see his wish to be traded to Miami granted.

Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report has put together a four-team proposal between the Blazers, Heat, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets in which he believes “everybody wins.” The Heat would land Lillard, Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward and Chuma Okeke of the Orlando Magic.

An intriguing aspect of Bailey’s trade proposal is that it would allow Miami to keep 2023 first-round pick Jaime Jaquez Jr. Let’s break it down.

BR’s Trade Proposal Would Send Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson & Kyle Lowry to Different Teams

Here’s a look at the Heat players and future draft picks involved in Bailey’s trade proposal:

  • Miami Heat Receive: Damian Lillard, Gordon Hayward and Chuma Okeke
  • Miami Heat Lose: Kyle Lowry, Nikola Jović, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Haywood Highsmith, a 2028 first-round pick and a 2030 first-round pick

This proposal would send Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson to the Orlando Magic, Haywood Highsmith would head to Charlotte and Kyle Lowry, Nikola Jović and multiple future first round picks would go to Portland.

“Miami is probably the only team in the league that can justify gutting its stash of future assets like this,” Bailey wrote, before explaining why this trade would give the Heat enough to win it all: “Despite losing five players and only getting three back, the Heat would be left with an eight-man rotation that includes Lillard, Josh Richardson, Jimmy Butler, Hayward, Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin, Kevin Love and Thomas Bryant. If Jaime Jaquez Jr. were NBA-ready right off the bat, even better.”

Several other trade proposals pitched by Bleacher Report have the Heat giving up an unrealistic amount of players in exchange for Lillard. Most included the Heat including both Jaquez and Jović in addition to multiple future first-round picks, which is too unrealistic. This proposal would allow Miami to keep Jaquez while also adding a solid swing man in Hayward. Bailey also thinks the Heat owe it to superstar Jimmy Butler to bring Dame onboard ASAP.

“That group’s title window might not be open for long, but it would be wide-open this year. Given Butler’s ability to drag two teams to the NBA Finals within the last four years, he’s earned a win-now move like this,” he added.

Gordon Hayward Can Still Be a Solid Contributor

With the Heat and Blazers likely to resume talks soon, per Shams Charania of The Athletic, a trade may be eminent. If Miami could add a player like Hayward, an All-Star during the 2016-17 season, while also keeping either Jović or Jaquez around, that would be ideal.

While no longer an All-Star-caliber player, the 33-year-old Hayward has averaged 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5  assists per game over his career. Last season, he started 50 games for Charlotte, netting 14.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists in just over 31 minutes a game.

Both Miami and Portland may have to make concessions if they want the deal to get done before the regular season hits. We’ll see if that happens.

“Portland’s ability to exude extreme patience and maintain a very deliberate approach in response to Lillard’s trade request becomes considerably more challenging once training camp opens and Lillard’s future becomes a daily discussion point,” NBA insider Marc Stein reported on September 11.

Stay tuned — it looks as if the Heat may be working overtime in the coming weeks.

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