The Blazers were reportedly all set to give Damian Lillard his wish of a trade to Miami, but his agent inadvertently messed up the deal.
One of the main reasons that Portland decided not to go ahead with the deal was because of Aaron Goodwin’s actions, according to Ben Maller of Fox Sports.
“From what I’ve gathered, Portland was prepared to send Lillard to Miami,” said Maller. “Then his agent gave some comments to the media that rubbed several people in Portland the wrong way. It was at that point that the Blazers pivoted. Lillard’s agent had embarrassed the franchise.”
The agent told NBA reporters publicly that Lillard only wanted to play for the Heat.
Goodwin was also apparently ringing around to NBA teams to tell them that if they traded for Lillard, they would trading for an unhappy player. Even though Dame didn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract.
“As interference goes, this is a time-honored agent maneuver to depress offers and clear a path to a predetermined destination,” Adrian Wojnarowski reported over this summer.
However, the NBA and the Blazers took exception to this.
Because it ultimately ended in Miami and Portland having to bring in a third team – Milwaukee – to get a trade done.
The NBA also sent out a memo warning Goodwin about his practices.
In case you missed it, this was the memo:
“We interviewed Goodwin and Lillard and also spoke with several NBA teams to whom Goodwin spoke,” the NBA’s memo to teams said. “Goodwin denied stating or indicating to any team that Lillard would refuse to play for them. Goodwin and Lillard affirmed to us that Lillard would fully perform the services called for under his player contract in any trade scenario. The relevant teams provided descriptions of their communications with Goodwin that were mostly, though not entirely, consistent with Goodwin’s statements to us.
“We have advised Goodwin and Lillard that any future comments, made privately to teams or publicly, suggesting Lillard will not fully perform the services called for under his player contract in the event of a trade will subject Lillard to discipline by the NBA. We also have advised the Players Association that any similar comments by players or their agents will be subject to discipline going forward.”
Goodwin was trying to act in client’s best interest, but in this case it backfired.
Dame still ended up with a championship caliber team in the Bucks, so he can’t be too mad about it.