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HomeSportsNBA: Damian Lillard Still Waiting for Blazers and Heat to Talk Trades

NBA: Damian Lillard Still Waiting for Blazers and Heat to Talk Trades


FILE – Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard carries the ball against the New York Knicks during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Oregon, Tuesday, March 14, 2023. (AP Photo/ Craig Mitchelldyer, File)

LAS VEGAS—Damian Lillard’s position hasn’t and won’t change: The seven-time All-Star wants to be traded to the Miami Heat.

Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, confirmed that stance Thursday, saying he hopes the Portland Trail Blazers, the team with which Lillard has spent his entire 11-year NBA career, can commit to the Heat in the next few years. steps towards a future agreement. days, especially with virtually the entire NBA gathering in Las Vegas for Summer League that begins Friday.

The Trail Blazers publicly revealed last weekend that Lillard had requested a trade, an announcement that ended weeks of speculation about his future in Portland. Lillard had told the team that he wanted a chance to compete for a title; the Blazers have won just four playoff series in their 11 seasons and missed the playoffs in each of the last two years by wide margins.

“I’m hopeful that at least the talks will get started as they will all be in one place,” Goodwin said. “That is my hope.”

Obviously, a significant package of players and selections will be needed to make any trade. Lillard will earn nearly $46 million next season and could earn as much as $216 million over the next four years if he exercises his option for the 2026-27 season.

“The solution comes from Miami actually having a chance to sit down and talk with Portland,” Goodwin said. “I think if they can ever sit down and walk into a room, there might be a deal.”

Miami Heat NBA Eastern Conference Champions

The Miami Heat celebrate on the podium after defeating the Boston Celtics in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Lillard averaged 32.2 points last season, has averaged at least 24 points in each of the past eight seasons and has an offensive flammability few players in the NBA possess.

He became the seventh player in NBA history to score more than 70 points in a game when he finished with 71 against the Houston Rockets on February 26. The other names on that list: Wilt Chamberlain (who did it five times), Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, David Robinson, Elgin Baylor and Donovan Mitchell.

The other six players on that list were between the ages of 23 and 28 when they had their games of 71 points or more; Lillard was 32, a clear indicator that, even after 11 NBA seasons, he’s far from past his prime.

The Heat are the reigning Eastern Conference champions, have been to the NBA Finals twice in the last four years and have been to the Eastern Finals three times in that span. They have been contenders, and Lillard, along with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, would only think of making them even more hopeful for the title.

“Dame’s position will not change,” Goodwin said. “This whole situation was about creating a chance for Portland to win or give him another chance that he wants, which is Miami.”

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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