The suitors for Damian Lillard’s services on the trade market could soon expand if a new report about the superstar guard is true.
For most teams around the NBA, their rosters for the 2023-2024 season are set, however, there is one big deal that could still occur and have a major impact on the playoff picture for next season. Earlier this Summer, seven-time All-Star Damian Lillard informed the Portland Trail Blazers that he would like to be traded after the team did not make any moves that considerably improved their chances of contending for a championship.
However, there has always been a caveat in that request, and it’s that the 33-year-old only wants to be traded to the Miami Heat. Yet, all indications thus far are that the Eastern Conference powerhouse doesn’t have the sort of trade chips that are too good for Portland to pass up.
Furthermore, other reports — including a recent one from The Athletic’s Shams Charania — claimed he would not report to camp for any other teams that landed him in a deal.
- Damian Lillard trade (’22-’23): 32.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 7.3 APG, 0.9 SPG, 37% 3PT
Damian Lillard would ‘play to the best of his abilities’ if traded to team other than Miami Heat
However, that may not be completely true. On Tuesday, following the Charania report, The Oregonian’s Aaron Fentress added a new layer to the Damian Lillard situation that could mean other NBA teams may again begin to kick the tires on a blockbuster deal for the future Hall-of-Famer.
“Lillard wouldn’t be the first star player to land where he didn’t want to play. If the Blazers and a team other than Miami hammered out a deal that Portland deemed more desirable than what they could acquire through dealing with the Heat, sources say Lillard would show up to his new team, do his job, and play to the best of his abilities,” Fentress wrote.
He does note that an unhappy Lillard may scare off many teams from getting involved in the trade chase. But if a contending team shifted plans and made a move, it isn’t impossible Lillard would become more open-minded to a trade to a destination other than Miami.