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Report: Damian Lillard, agent to meet with Blazers regarding franchise's direction
His decision regarding his Blazers future might come sooner than expected.
Since the 2022-23 season ended, and especially since the Bradley Beal trade to the Phoenix Suns, one of the biggest storylines across the NBA is if Damian Lillard would finally request a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, or if he remains one more season in hopes they could improve and contend in the Wild Wild West.
Well, hours after reports surfaced that there would be “serious interest” for Lillard joining the Miami Heat, which isn’t particularly new information, the saga officially received a new update.
Lillard and his Agent Aaron Goodwin are reportedly “meeting with the team today to discuss the franchise’s direction,” Bleacher Report NBA insider Chris Haynes reported Monday.
Lillard has been adamant about Portland wanting to add veteran players, though it took a different direction Thursday.
Portland kept their No. 3 and No. 23 picks and drafted highly-touted prospect Scoot Henderson and Kris Murray, respectively, albeit the latter was one of the oldest-and-most-seasoned prospects in this year’s class. It’s unlikely the Blazers would be able to add star talent, in addition to re-signing Jerami Grant, unless it was via trade, which has lacked traction.
The soon-to-be 33-year-old has been consistently linked to the Heat all offseason. Lillard has expressed his desire to play alongside Jimmy Butler and, most notably, Bam Adebayo.
He averaged 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists last season, shooting 46.3 percent from the floor, 37.1 percent from 3-point range and 91.4 percent from the free-throw line in 58 games. Lillard, one of the best guards in the sport, is a seven-time All-Star and a seven-time All-NBA honoree.
He does have four years and $216 million left on his contract, and the new CBA makes the decision to—and what to—trade for him all the more complicated.
Miami, who has plenty of big contracts to salary match—namely Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry and/or Duncan Robinson—could put together a deal with enough assets (Caleb Martin, Nikola Jovic and/or Jaime Jaquez) plus future first-round picks (2028, 2030) to complete a trade.
But that’s if—and only if—Lillard wants out. That remains to be decided. But it looks we could know sooner rather than later.