This offseason is about building a better roster around Damian Lillard for the Portland Trail Blazers. It’s a theme heard before. But with the third pick and valuable trade assets like Anfernee Simons, the Blazers feel they can add significant talent. Could that include a player like Bam Adebayo?
Time will tell, but according to Yahoo’s Jake Fischer, the Blazers have put together what they feel is a “compelling package” for the Miami Heat’s starting center. Keep in mind, this is an offer that does not include Lillard.
It’s a fascinating turn of events. As Lillard recently stated, if he were to request or want a trade, Miami would be a top destination, citing his friendly relationship with Adebayo. But this scenario would bring Adebayo to Portland instead of the other way around, despite Jimmy Butler trying to recruit Lillard as well.
While the report suggests the Blazers feel they have a compelling offer, the biggest key here is whether the Heat would even consider trading Adebayo, just weeks after reaching the NBA Finals. Teams this close to a championship rarely trade a soon to be 26-year-old two-time All-Star.
In other words, this sounds like a report coming out of a source much closer to Portland than one out of Miami. But who knows? The NBA is a fast-changing landscape that sees stars get traded quite often.
Without knowing the specific trade offer, we can speculate about pieces like Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, Jusuf Nurkic, possibly Jerami Grant in a sign-and-trade, or the third and 23rd picks in the 2023 NBA Draft. Does any combination of those assets sound like something the Heat would prefer over their four-time All-Defensive center? Probably not.
Meanwhile, other reports have the Blazers trying to entice the “frustrating to deal with” Toronto Raptors about an offer for Pascal Siakam or OG Anunoby, to no luck. Fischer adds that a trade for Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns hasn’t drawn any interest from the Timberwolves or the Blazers either.
More from Fischer suggests the Trail Blazers are targeting players with size, even Los Angeles’ Paul George, who, again, may not be available.
Then there is the Pelicans, who are also trying to get into the top three, perhaps for Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller, but New Orleans reportedly hasn’t tried to make an offer for the third pick just yet. Some players who may be available there could include Brandon Ingram or Zion Williamson. Whether either is actually on the negotiation table remains to be seen.
We’ll see what the Blazers have up their sleeves on Thursday night when the draft tips off. It’s clear they have a lot of irons in the fire and are looking to rebuild a competitor quickly, but it takes two to tango in the NBA.