Damian Lillard news: The landscape shifted in the NBA on Wednesday after reports emerged that the Milwaukee Bucks had come out of nowhere to strike a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers for Dame.
All along, most folks believed that the seven-time All-Star was on the brink of joining the Miami Heat. As it turns out, however, it doesn’t sound like Miami got very close to agreeing a deal with Portland.
Blazers Did Not Want to Deal Damian Lillard to Heat
In a recent report posted by Shams Charania and Sam Amick of the Athletic, it has now been revealed that Portland may not have wanted to get a deal done with the Heat in the first place. The Blazers made this clear when they asked for either Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo in their initial trade talks with Miami:
“The Blazers and Heat had multiple conversations in July, but the sides never engaged in substantive negotiations, according to those sources. In an initial call, the Blazers asked the Heat for Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo. The Heat came to believe that the Blazers had little to no interest in engaging in a deal with them, and as much as Lillard and Goodwin wished that the Blazers would attempt to satisfy the seven-time All-Star’s wish, Portland refused. As the summer progressed, Lillard wanted the Blazers to find a deal with Miami, but those wishes, in his mind, also went unfulfilled,” Charania and Amick wrote.
Either Portland had an unrealistic valuation of their now-former cornerstone superstar or they just wanted to send a message to Miami early on. As expected, this was met with skepticism by the Heat’s front office. There was just no way they were giving up Butler or Adebayo for Lillard.
Miami’s Counter Offer
For what it’s worth, though, Miami did put a pretty formidable offer on the table. According to Shams and Amick, the Heat conjured up a trade package centered around former Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro and multiple draft picks:
“For their part, the Heat, league sources say, were prepared in July and August to offer up to three first-round draft picks — with Tyler Herro going to a third team — and multiple second-rounders and swaps along with expiring contracts and 2022 first-round pick Nikola Jović. But the Blazers were disinterested with each side developing a level of contentiousness,” Charania and Amick wrote.
The Blazers reportedly wanted nothing to do with Herro, which is why a third team had to be involved in a potential deal. This obviously did not come to fruition — much to the joy of Bucks fans everywhere.
As the Heat dilly-dallied, Milwaukee pounced — and they pulled it off. Miami will now be ruing their botched attempt to secure the services of Lillard, while the Bucks have now emerged as the title favorites for 2023-24.
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