Will Damian Lillard ever get his wish and be traded to Miami? One insider gives the latest on how the Heat are proceeding.
Since July, the Heat have been prepared to offer the Blazers a package which includes, “three to four first-round picks — with Tyler Herro going to a third team for assets — expiring contracts, a young player such as Nikola Jović and potentially second-round picks and draft swaps”, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.
There has been no traction from Portland on this, however Miami’s beat reporter Ira Winderman says the franchise isn’t giving up on a Lillard deal.
“The reasons you make trades are twofold,” Winderman wrote. “The first reason is to upgrade your core in a win-now setting. The other is to set up your future. With Jimmy Butler to turn 34 before the start of the coming season, the Heat are in that first, win-now category. So you start here: To win right now, is Damian Lillard an upgrade on Tyler Herro for the 2023-24 season? I believe most would agree. Then you look at having to shed other pieces and the impact on your core.
“The Heat have already shown they can win without Duncan Robinson, albeit a Max Strus replacement would be needed out of the developmental program. And it’s not as if Nikola Jovic is weeks, months or even a season away from being a rotation player for a championship contender.
“So part with those four plus a pick or two (or three) and you basically have done little to damage your core. Now, when you get to Caleb Martin or a ready-now Jaime Jaquez Jr., that is when you would take pause. So you can give up a lot. What you can’t give up is too much.”
The insider certainly makes some good points.
Whether or not the Blazers will come to party still remains because as much as it wouldn’t disrupt Miami’s core, trading Lillard rips out a huge chunk of Portland’s playmaking and scoring ability.
As always with this Lillard trade, they’ll no doubt be more to come.