According to multiple reports, the Miami Heat did everything they could to bring Damian Lillard to South Beach before the Milwaukee Bucks came storming in at the last minute to hijack the deal. Apparently, the Portland Trail Blazers played a key role in Dame’ botched move to Miami, which ultimately worked in Milwaukee’s favor.
As it turns out, however, Dame may not have been the Heat’s first choice this past summer.
Miami Heat Wanted Ex-Milwaukee Bucks Star Jrue Holiday
The man the Bucks decided to part ways with in order to get their hands on Dame was Jrue Holiday. The five-time All-Defensive guard was the centerpiece of Milwaukee’s trade package to the Blazers, who in turn, sent their ex-cornerstone superstar in the Bucks’ direction.
According to Ethan J. Skolnick of 5 Reasons Sports, the Heat actually had their eye on Holiday. In fact, they actually preferred him over Lillard:
“Jrue’s contract is friendlier. He plays defense, which the Heat value; and the Heat don’t believe that Dame does,” Skolnick said (h/t NBACentral on Twitter).
For what it’s worth, Holiday, who is now with the Boston Celtics, has a contract that runs through 2025. He has a player option for next season worth $39.4 million.
Dame, on the other hand, is under contract until 2027. Over the course of the next three seasons (not including 2023-24), the Bucks will need to shell out over $170 million for his services.
There’s also no question about Holiday being the more superior defender compared to Lillard.
Either way, though, the fact of the matter is that the Heat were not able to get their hands on Lillard or Holiday.
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