The Damian Lillard trade talks aren’t dead just yet. According to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald, the Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat could resume talks as soon as the beginning of training camp. This increases speculation among fans and front offices, as everyone tries to determine what a return for Lillard could look like.
NBA Rumors: Blazers, Heat May Restart Lillard Trade Talks Before Camp
After 11 years of “not running from the grind,” Damian Lillard finally decided it was time to move on and continue his title chase elsewhere. The seven-time All-Star and 2013 Rookie of the Year requested a trade from Portland on July 1. He expressed a desire to go to the Heat. The Blazers seemed willing to honor his request. However, they were also reportedly in “no rush” to trade their franchise star.
“I don’t feel that I did everything I could because I didn’t get done what I needed to get done. In that sense, I do feel like I failed Dame. Our goal was to win now as quickly as possible. If he didn’t feel that way, it was a failure on my end.”
“Dame is obviously a very important person and player to us. What the rest of his career looks like matters to us, and we care about that. At the same time, we have to do what’s best for us. We’ve got to find the right deal and find the right makeup of the team we are going to build forward with.”
Reports of Miami’s initial offer surfaced a couple of weeks later: a package around Tyler Herro and three first-round picks, according to The Oregonian’s Aaron Fentress. The proposal has since evolved—with some reports suggesting the need for a third team. One of the latest hints at a proposal came from insider Shams Charania a few weeks ago.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 31, 2023
The Trail Blazers have refused to name their exact asking price for Lillard, leading to a stalemate that continues today but could end soon.
Latest on Damian Lillard Trade Talks
Chiang reported that “the expectation” between both sides is that talks could resume near the start of training camp (Oct. 3). He added:
“That date will at least create some sense of urgency for Portland to find a deal in order to avoid Lillard, arguably the greatest player in Trail Blazers history, coming into camp and making the situation even messier than it already is.”
As for who else is in Miami’s recent trade offer, it’s up to interpretation for now. However, it also leads to some intriguing guesses.
Guessing Miami’s Potential Offer
For starters, Miami would have to send Herro to a team that can reasonably upgrade their two-guard slot and absorb his $27 million salary. As for the rest of the potential players and picks involved, it’s worth noting the following:
- Miami’s only true expiring contract is Kyle Lowry ($29.6 million). Fellow veterans Kevin Love and Josh Richardson were re-signed this offseason and cannot be traded until December 15.
- The only other young players aside from the 23-year-old Herro are Nikola Jovic (20), Haywood Highsmith (26) and Orlando Robinson (23). Each of them are making significantly less than Herro, though (roughly $1-2 million). However, Jovic—despite his solid FIBA play with Serbia—is the likeliest of those three to be included in a Lillard trade. He holds plenty of promise as a young, talented, two-way forward, but he’s also expressed a desire to remain in Miami.
- As for draft capital, following the league’s “Seven Year Rule”, Miami can trade some of their first-round picks in 2024, ‘26, ’27, ’28, ’29 and ‘30. They also have a 2026 second-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers that could be part of the deal.
Based on these factors, it’s conceivable that Herro, Lowry and Jovic are the names to watch throughout this saga. The three of them could find themselves in more trade rumors soon.
The Last Word
With Portland and Miami expected to restart discussions around Lillard, it puts the star a small step closer to getting what he wants. At least one star’s trade request is going well and gaining traction.