Damian Lillard turned the NBA world on its head earlier this summer when he demanded a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers.
Not only did the 33-year-old want to be moved, though – he only wanted to go to the Miami Heat. Nobody else.
And thus, a standoff ensued.
Obviously the belief on Miami’s side and in many circles around the league was that eventually Portland would give in and trade Lillard to his preferred destination – regardless of what they got back.
The Blazers had different plans. They are now exploring other potential squads for Lillard, despite his preference.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors are “the two possible destinations for Lillard discussed most by league figures.”
The Los Angeles Lakers, who have been linked to Lillard in the past, weren’t mentioned as potential suitors this time around.
It is worth noting that the Heat haven’t had substantive trade talks with Portland regarding Lillard in a while.
“While a collection of NBA personnel expect Portland to engage Miami before finalizing something with another suitor, the Heat have not factored primarily in the Blazers’ recent dialogue surrounding Lillard,” league sources told Fischer.
This coincides with a recent report from Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, who noted that “the Blazers are refusing to talk with the Heat.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has also indicated that the Heat haven’t been a part of trade talks with the Blazers regarding Lillard.
Woj also says Miami have not been involved in these talks.
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) September 22, 2023
Obviously this is the NBA.
And in the NBA, generally speaking, stars get to go wherever they want to go.
What a Gameday for Notre Dame and Ohio State already. https://t.co/LfLkp8mcNH
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 23, 2023
But it really looks like at the moment the Blazers are holding steady in their position.
Will the Heat’s passive pursuit of Lillard lead to him landing with either the Bulls or Raptors? An answer one way or the other will emerge soon enough.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.