Damian Lillard is currently still a player for the Portland Trail Blazers, despite his formal trade request to the Miami Heat. Lillard expressed his preference for Miami as his desired destination on July 2.
However, since Lillard does not possess a no-trade clause, the Blazers have been searching for the best possible deal for their team. This has caused complications for the Heat, who have been unsuccessful in impressing the Blazers with their offers centered around Tyler Herro. Additionally, Lillard’s agent has allegedly been contacting potential trade partners, advising them to back off.
Aaron Gordon reportedly warned teams that they would receive an “unhappy” version of Lillard if he were sent to a team other than the Heat. Although there were reports of the teams nearing a deal, they currently find themselves at an impasse once again. Both teams have been passing blame back and forth. Initially, the Heat were accused of stalling the trade due to their unwillingness to weaken their roster to acquire Lillard.
However, now the blame has shifted to the Blazers. Miami wants clear trade demands from Portland to expedite the process, but the Blazers continue to insist on receiving the best possible offer without offering specifics.
“Miami’s frustrated w/ how things are moving slowly. Portland’s telling them bring us your best offer. MIA would like to know what Portland wants & MIA isn’t getting that answer. Heat feel like things could be moving quicker if Portland said exactly what they want” @ChrisBHaynes pic.twitter.com/bIRs7ubDNR
— Dru (@dru_star) July 21, 2023
It is known that Joe Cronin, the Blazers’ general manager, desires four first-round picks and two high-quality players for Lillard. However, even this offer lacks clarity.
The Blazers have not clarified how far into the future they are willing to accept the picks or which positions they consider a priority. The specific players they are interested in, aside from Tyler Herro, also remain undisclosed. This lack of transparency has led to frustration and suggests a more petty aspect to the trade negotiations.
The Blazers seemingly feel slighted by Lillard’s attempts to control the narrative and are using tactics to delay his departure from the team, as they still have contract control over him for four more years.
This move, if true, indicates a low blow by the Blazers in their handling of the situation.