Damian Lillard to Seek Trade, Miami Heat to Make ‘Untouchable’ Offer

Damian Lillard, Jae Crowder

Getty Portland All-Star guard Damian Lillard might be requesting a trade in the coming days.

The Miami Heat are still chasing their giant whale this summer, and the biggest fish in the ocean is about to hit the open market. According to Henry Abbott of True Hoop, Damian Lillard is expected to ask for a trade in the coming days. The 31-year-old point guard — his birthday was July 15 — would be an ideal fit in South Beach.

Lillard hasn’t formally requested a trade out of Portland. Not yet. But the prevailing wisdom says he will. Abbott wrote the following:

Now a source close to Lillard says that in the days to come, he plans to request a trade.

If this is a surprise, you haven’t been paying attention. As an organization, the Blazers have been melting since their playoff exit. Coach Terry Stotts was cut loose. Sources say billionaire Jody Allen plans to sell the team. The Blazers are prominent in trade rumors.

The biggest problem is coming up with a trade package worth Portland’s enormous asking price. Miami doesn’t have a first-rounder or second-rounder in the upcoming draft on July 29 and they currently have only one pick that’s eligible to be traded in the next seven drafts, a 2024 second-rounder.

Team president Pat Riley would have to dangle some previously “untouchable” young prospects — Tyler Herro, Precious Achiuwa, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson — along with future draft picks to get a deal done.

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Erik Spoelstra, Perfect Coach for Lillard

There have been mixed messages about whether the six-time All-Star was on board with the Trail Blazers’ decision to hire Chauncey Billups as their next head coach. Lillard initially stated he preferred Jason Kidd who recently took the Dallas Mavericks’ job.

Meanwhile, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has long admired Lillard’s play-making abilities and clutch shooting. The two seem like kindred spirits and pairing them together in Miami — along with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo (imagine the pick-and-roll possibilities) — would elevate the Heat to instant championship contenders.

“I don’t know if there is any other player in this league right now that is playing at a higher level than Lillard,” Spoelstra said in 2018. “You know the names in the MVP conversation. The way he’s playing right now and winning, he deserves to be in that conversation as well. It’s not just about him being a great player, it is the timing of his greatness, that is so unique. Every time there needs to be a big-time play, or if momentum started to go our way, he made that play.”


Adebayo Opens Up About Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal was ruled out of the delayed 2021 Tokyo Olympics after being placed in the COVID-19 protocol. He won’t be suiting up for Team USA this summer, a devastating blow for the Americans as the team looks to make up all that lost offense. Robinson has been listed as a potential replacement for Beal.

On Thursday, Adebayo was one of a handful of Team USA teammates to comment on losing Beal. The Heat big man checked in with the Washington Wizards star and confirmed he had no COVID-19 symptoms. Beal is expected to make a full recovery despite missing the Tokyo Games.

“You can only sympathize with Brad,” Team USA teammate Draymond Green said, via NBC4 Washington. “You hope he still gets that gold medal because he did make the commitment to this team and to this country.”

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