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Damian Lillard confirms he wouldn't mind getting traded to the Miami Heat, hypothetically
No, he hasn't officially requested a trade yet. This is all hypothetical, like every other Lillard-Heat trade rumor.
Portland Trail Blazers superstar guard Damian Lillard has been at the forefront of ongoing trade scuttlebutt for multiple seasons, and that hasn’t changed.
When on Showtime’s The Last Stand, Lillard was asked about hypothetical trade destinations — namely the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat or Boston Celtics.
Among all those options, Lillard didn’t hesitate to pick Miami as the one he would covet the most.
“Miami obviously,” Lillard said. “Miami is the obvious one, and Bam (Adebayo) is my dawg. Bam is my dawg for real. Miami is the obvious one.”
(Sidenote: It’s objectively hilarious that arguably the most critiqued player amongst the Heat fanbase is so coveted by legitimate stars/superstars leaguewide. Maybe that says something, huh?)
Lillard echoed the same sentiment with the Brooklyn Nets because of similar feelings with star wing Mikal Bridges, who was acquired in the blockbuster Kevin Durant trade in February.
No, this isn’t the first time that Damian Lillard has been linked to the Heat this calendar year. And it won’t be the last, either.
"I think the Heat are on the cusp of looking for another star maneuver. I would put them on the list for Dame Lillard if Dame ends up getting traded," Brian Windhorst said in April on ESPN’s Hoop Collective podcast. “If he goes to market, I think the Heat are on that list.
“I don't know if they have enough. A lot of their offer would be built around Tyler Herro, who's just injured. But I suspect— I don't know for sure—just to be clear, I don't know for sure that they would offer him, but I would suspect that that would be the type of thing, that and draft picks. Part of the way you attract guys that want to play there is always be competing.”
The most recent Lillard news predictably sent Twitter into a frenzy, and rightfully so.
Though the 32-year-old guard still has not formally requested and has been on record—multiple times—indicating he wants to build a contender in Portland, who currently has the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and has gone a combined 60-104 (.366) over the last two seasons.
“(Portland) could trade me to somewhere that we all say, you know, ‘This is a contender,’” Lillard said on The Last Stand. “But what is it going to cost for me to get there? What is it going to cost that team that we’re saying is a contender for me to get there? And how is it a guarantee that we’re gonna be playing in June when I get there? How do we know if everybody’s gonna be healthy? How do we know if it’s gonna work out?
“I think I’ve made it clear what my wishes are—I want to have an opportunity to win in Portland. And right now, we got an opportunity—asset-wise—to build a team that can compete. That would be the number one thing, but if we can’t do that, then, obviously like I’ve said, it’s a separate conversation we would have to have. You’ve got to let things take its course and see where it lands and go from there.
“There’s no guarantee that I’d be playing in June regardless of the situation. Of course I’d love to not have not been in the playoffs the last two seasons even though I was in the prior eight (seasons) before that. Being in it every year is different than not being there … People make fun of it, like, ‘Run from the grind!’ … But I’m not a fool. I’m not crazy. I love the organization I play for, I love the city I live in and I’m going to give them every opportunity to give me or give us what we need to have a true chance to compete for that.”
Lillard previously commented after the regular season’s conclusion that he’s “not interested” in the organization bringing in more young talent; the Blazers could flip the No. 3 pick along with other assets for available talent, but to Lillard’s point, there’s no guarantee the Blazers will get over the hump regardless.
It depends on how this historic NBA Finals run ends, but there’s also no guarantee the Blazers want to trade Lillard—who has three years and $153 million guaranteed left on his contract plus an additional $63.2 million player option in 2026-27, his age-36 season—to Miami for assets not named Adebayo or Jimmy Butler.
In a vacuum, a deal could possibly be completed. The same was said about Donovan Mitchell, too, and the same’s been said about Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine, yet nothing’s happened.
With the new CBA and the team-building restrictions because of the second apron, it’s also unknown whether Miami would have the financial motivation to complete a trade outside of the inevitable “I want to trade for the biggest star” mindset Pat Riley owns.
There are plenty of questions that need to be answered before something like this could legitimately be on the table. But if Lillard does request a trade — a huge “if” — we know one spot where he wouldn’t mind getting traded to.
Also, shoutout to South Florida Sports, lately:
The University of Miami and Florida Atlantic University unexpectedly make the Final Four in March!!
Lionel Messi reportedly has decided to with Inter Miami of the MLS, according to CBS Sports’ Guillem Balague!!
The No. 8-seeded Miami Heat play their first NBA Finals game at home in nearly a decade on Wednesday!!
Now, Damian Lillard has been on record about hypothetically wanting to get traded to Miami?!?!
The No. 8-seeded Florida Panthers play their first Stanley Cup Final home game in nearly 30 years on Thursday!!
The Miami Marlins are six games above .500, are one game ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second NL Wild Card spot, have a collection of incredibly cool players (Jazz Chisholm, Bryan De La Cruz, Jorge Soler, Edward Cabrera, Eury Perez) and Luis Arraez is currently hitting *checks notes* .401 with an NL-best 161 OPS+ in 235 plate appearances!!
The Miami Dolphins are entering the second year of the Mike McDaniel-Tua Tagovailoa-Tyreek Hill-Jaylen Waddle era together, adding rookie speedster Devon Achane to the mix! They also improved their defense by trading for Jalen Ramsey and hiring Vic Fangio as their defensive coordinator!!
What a run!!