As easy as it sounds, the trade request made by Damian Lillard is not so easy. The Portland Trailblazers have been very fortunate to have a super star like Lillard on their roster for so long.
In an era where stars like Lillard jump ship to play with other great players, Lillard had remained steady in his commitment to Portland. The only request Lillard made was for Portland to reach out to attract another star.
Again, Portland tried to bring in another star, but no no avail. Again, to begin the NBA off season, Lillard remained steady to not leave Portland. That all changed when Portland made little effort to trade their draft picks for a star.
Lillard realized that Portland was not all in on winning now, but more so interested in building for the future.
At 32, Lillard is on the back half of his career. Most NBA players don’t play past 35. There’s not too many players playing at a high level past that age. LeBron James is one of the few and only to be able to do it.
Dame in Miami
A trade to Miami is what Lillard has requested. Miami made it to the NBA Finals with a roster that was less than impressive. I too bet against Miami making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, let alone the NBA Finals. Honestly, the run was unbelievable.
Unfortunately, the Heat failed to stop the two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. For the second time, the Miami Heat entered the NBA Finals as sever underdogs.
In 2020, the Heat made it to the Finals with Jimmy Butler leading the way. They ran into LeBron James and the Lakers. The former Miami Heat star led the Lakers to a dominating 4-2 series victory.
Although Lillard is not a center or a forward, Lillard provides a dynamic the Heat has been missing since Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron left. A dangerous force on the court that can take over at anytime.
Lillard has dragged the Trailblazers for years to multiple playoff runs. Adding Lillard to Miami that has Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo is a formidable group. Miami’s head coach Erik Spoelstra is the x-factor in the equation.
Spoelstra has been able to get the most out of a roster that should not have made it to the Finals. That level of development and coaching is something Lillard would benefit from.
Not saying Lillard needs coaching, but he has yet to have teammates that elevate their play in critical situations. He’s yet to have a coach that make the right adjustments in critical situations. Spoelstra has a reputation of doing both.
Who’s On The Trade Block
First and foremost, Damian Lillard’s contract does not include a “No-Trade” clause. The Trailblazers have all the right to trade him for the best available deal on the table.
However, Lillard has been very faithful to Portland thus far. It would look bad on the franchise if they don’t make a valiant attempt to give Lillard what he wants. Needless to say, the NBA is a business, and a business typically puts it’s well being over the employees.
Lillard has four years and $216 million dollars left on his contract. The teams that make a run will need to have the space to do so. Also, there’s rumors that Portland wants four 1st-round picks and two quality players.
The four 1st-round picks should not be too difficult to give up. The league has seen too many 1st-round picks come into the league and have little impact. Ultimately, the two quality players would be the best value.
Best Trade Value
- Miami Receives: Damian Lillard
- Portland Receives: Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, 2024 1st, 2025 1st, 2027 1st, 2028 1st.
For Miami, in this trade deal, they would give up Tyler Herro and potentially their future. However, the Heat are in a win now situation. Herro’s contract is a 4-year $120 million deal that would be nice to get off the books.
There’s a serious option for Kyle Lowry to be included in this deal as well. The most likely scenario is that the Mami Heat will have to add another trading partner to get Dame. What team will jump on that offer? Beats me, but regardless of who it is, they are all on Dame-Time!