The Portland Trail Blazers are reportedly close to trading Damian Lillard to the Miami Heat.
The news comes after The Oregonian’s Aaron Fentress reported Portland’s huge asking price, which was “in the neighbourhood of four first-round picks and two quality players”.
At the time, it seemed like a trade could be a long way off. But now, Fentress reports that both teams have made major progress towards a deal.
“If [Portland] can come out of this with four firsts, at least one if not two young talents and salary filler, that should get it done,” he said on the Blazer Focused Podcast yesterday.
“I’m told that right now, the Heat have three firsts, Herro, filler, and maybe a young player already… I’m told it’s pretty close.”
It has previously been reported that Portland wouldn’t necessarily trade Lillard to Miami as he desired.
But if the Blazers can get what they want from the Heat, it could possibly be the best outcome for both sides.
Blazers GM Provides Latest on Lillard Saga
Portland Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin spoke to the media on Monday while in Las Vegas for the Summer League. The main topic was of course the Damian Lillard saga.
Cronin said a Lillard trade could take “months” to complete in order to get the best possible return for the superstar.
“Don’t be reactive. Don’t jump at things just to seemingly solve a problem. I think the teams that have ended up in the most positive situations post-trade have been the ones that have been really diligent in taking their time and not been impulsive, or the teams that really kept their urgency under control.
So I think that’s how my approach has been with this and will be with this. We’re going to be patient; we’re going to do what’s best for our team. We’re going to see how this lands. And if it takes months, it takes months.”
The GM said he hasn’t spoken to Dame since July 1, when he formally requested a trade from Portland. Throughout the past two seasons Cronin explains the Blazers were trying to make win-now moves around Lillard.
“The difficult things we ran into were finding the right deals. In the previous two years, we drafted at 7, then we drafted at 3. In the meantime, we were scouring the market looking for more win-now players and what kept happening was those players just weren’t available. So each time we just tried to weigh that.
In Shaedon’s draft, Pick 7, what does that look like versus what’s available on the market? And the answer was obvious: Shaedon’s better. And same thing happened this time. What does Pick 3 look like versus the return to the market? It wasn’t close. Had to go [making the pick].”
Lillard has four years and over $200 million left on his contract after signing an extension with the Blazers last summer. We already know the Blazers asking price for Dame and with the play of Scoot Henderson in his first Summer League game (even if it was only in 3 quarters), it’s clear Portland need to move on and put an end to the Lillard saga.
Even if it takes longer than everyone wants.