Looks as if Dame’s time in Portland was up.
Initially, Damian Lillard had expressed his desire for a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers. However, sources informed Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report that the organization was not open to welcoming back the superstar if he rescinded his trade request.
It was reported that Lillard, who is now with the Milwaukee Bucks, had contemplated withdrawing his trade request if a deal with the Miami Heat couldn’t be reached. Nevertheless, general manager Joe Cronin made it clear that there was no path for his return, as noted by Haynes.
Lillard then said if a deal couldn’t be worked out with the Heat, he would prefer to rescind his trade request and return to the Trail Blazers.
Cronin’s response to the seven-time All-Star was that there was no coming back.
Lillard was shocked, sources said. He said it was discouraging to hear he couldn’t return, but added that he didn’t want to be somewhere he wasn’t wanted, and he ended the meeting.
Despite the widespread belief that Lillard would eventually land with the Heat, several internal issues emerged that significantly dampened those prospects.
According to Haynes, the Blazers and Heat hadn’t engaged in any discussions after the Summer League in early July. Portland, dissatisfied with Miami’s offer, continued to explore other trade partners. The Heat, on their part, felt that emotions were obstructing the negotiation process on the Blazers’ side.
Lillard reportedly waited until mid-September to formally request a trade to a team other than Miami, once it became apparent that he was no longer wanted in Portland. He considered the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets as potential destinations.
Despite the reported discord between Lillard and the organization where he had spent 11 years as the starting point guard, the seven-time All-Star conveyed a lengthy and heartfelt message to the city of Portland and the Blazers organization on Thursday night.
Lillard’s first opportunity to return to his former home court will be on January 31.