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Damian Lillard wants out. Could he land on the Heat?

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Similar to the James Harden situation, Miami lacks the draft picks to make an appealing offer.

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Nigeria v United States Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Ever since the Portland Trail-Blazers’ first-round exit earlier this playoffs, people have speculated that Damian Lillard will request a trade. Yesterday, Henry Abbott reported that he would request a trade in the coming days, prompting Lillard to say, “I haven’t made any firm decisions on what my future will be.”

SportsLine oddsmakers have pegged Miami as the third-likeliest destination for the six-time All-NBA player, behind the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers. Bam Adebayo is currently playing with Lillard as they both prepare for the Tokyo Olympics. Can it happen?

In some ways, we’re back to the James Harden conversation from December 2020. The Heat don’t have the draft assets to send Portland. But a couple things have changed. Tyler Herro’s trade stock has dipped after an inconsistent sophomore season, and Duncan Robinson is an impending free agent. That makes a trade even more complicated.

Now, the Heat could agree with the Oklahoma City Thunder to remove the lottery protections from Miami’s 2023 first-round pick. That would allow the Heat to trade their 2025 and 2027 first-round pick to the Blazers. But the Houston Rockets received four first-round picks and four pick swaps for Harden.

It’s unlikely that Portland will trade Lillard to Miami. But the Heat have to try.