Dame becomes the bell of the ball after her trade request.
Damian Lillard’s trade request made him a favorite topic of league pundits NBA free agency, 2023. Soon after the news went public, rumors and suggestions exploded. Who would love Portland’s All-Star guard? What will they offer?
Lillard’s request isn’t exactly a revelation. “Will he or won’t he?” Discussions have circulated since Portland’s season ended in April. Dame had spoken of himself Miami Heat And Brooklyn Nets as desirable places long before he expressed his will.
Accordingly, those two franchises got the lion’s share of the zipper-zapper on the first day of Damn-Mania. But they are not the only teams in the race. In the past 24 hours, several articles by national experts have suggested alternative locations.
In this post, we’re going to lay the groundwork for teams linked to Lillard by media sources. We’ll start with the basics, then add new rumors as they arise, keeping all of the day’s speculation in one place.
Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report The ball started rollingDescribes Miami’s offer:
Sources say the Heat are willing to offer a package centered around Tyler Hero, along with Duncan Robinson and picks. The Heat would love to keep Caleb Martin out of any trade scenario.
Sources say Portland could try to add Jusuf Nurkic to a deal.
Haynes Followed by a tweet Explains further permutations of the contract:
The details remained murky, but little knowledge of Portland’s situation and the situation in Portland indicated that Herro would not be staying in Portland, but rather being traded to a third party for more assets as part of the deal.
Next, Sam Amick Athletic Wrote one of the definitive pieces on the subject [subscription required]. Lillard’s meeting with general manager Joe Cronin last Monday and an amicable split that Amick says were already reported at the time avoided an ownership change move in free agency that never materialized.
Amick also strongly argues that Miami is the only destination Lillard wants. The tension between Dame’s goals and Cronin’s, already evident at several points leading up to the trade request, could rear its head once again. If so, rival GM is ready to offer alternatives to the “Tyler Hero and Picks” package at the heart of the Heat’s offering.
The list of teams interested in Lillard is predictably long, and includes Philadelphia, the Clippers and Utah. As Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report said, a third team would be necessary in a deal with the Heat. Miami could send guard Tyler Hero to Portland in the Lillard deal, but he doesn’t make much sense on a Blazers roster loaded with guards and may have to be traded again to another team.
Finally, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer ran down The Big Eight non-Miami teams that could enter the Lillard sweepstakes. You’ll have to read the article for his full recommendations, but here are abridged versions of the groups and possible offers:
1. Sixers: Daryl Morey could compete with Miami’s offer first in the future, a trade, Diris Maxey and an expiring salary.
2. Celtics: Even if Lillard doesn’t want to play for the Celtics, they could offer up to three starters and a replacement with Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams, Peyton Pritchard, Luke Cornet and Justin Champaign.
3. Clippers: Could the Clippers turn to Dame instead of going for James Harden? They only have two far-future mainstays to trade (and a replacement), but they’re high-value picks considering how old the team is. Terrence Mann will be a good young player.
4. Nets: Lillard has already said he would be happy to be traded to Brooklyn because of his friendship with Mikal Bridges. If the Nets wanted Lillard instead of Hero, they could offer their own firsts from 2028 to 2030, plus the Suns’ firsts in 2025, 2027 and 2029, the swap in 2028 and the Mavericks’ firsts in 2029.
Steve DeWalt made that last suggestion in our trade request edition of the Blazer’s Edge podcast recorded yesterday.
5. Jazz: Following a great draft class, the Jazz have plenty of picks to trade and some young talent [Danny] Ainge is ready to go for it.
6. Spurs: The Spurs have their own starters and future starters from the Bulls, Celtics, Hawks, Hornets and Raptors. Some are unsafe; Some are preserved.
7. Pelicans: We already know the Pelicans are dangling several future first basemen and young players. Will they give up on Zion Williamson? Brandon Ingram?
8. Raptors: What’s stopping them from throwing three firsts, a swap, OG Anunoby and some other filler in Portland?
We’ll update this post with any significant additions or clarifications that come out of the blue today.