Still Bent on the Heat Trade, $1.88 Billion NBA Franchise Set to Swing Damian Lillard’s Heart in Upcoming Season, Per Sources

Still Bent on the Heat Trade, $1.88 Billion NBA Franchise Set to Swing Damian Lillard’s Heart in Upcoming Season, Per Sources

Damian Lillard’s trade saga is complicated. The Portland Trail Blazers want maximum value from someone they invested in for around a decade. Lillard wants only the Heat after his patience runs out. Meanwhile, the Heat is careful in pulling the trigger and is perhaps hesitant to give up Tyler Herro. Therefore, this trade scenario has now become a waiting game. Both teams are not satisfied with what is on offer. Therefore, the bubble can burst before floating high.

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Will this open up opportunities for another squad other than the Heat?

Will Damian Lillard get his wish?

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According to Trail Blazers’ insider Eric Brendt, Lillard’s decision to go to the Heat came after a bitter experience with Trail Blazers’ GM. For him, the management broke its promises to Lillard and didn’t care about his desires. He gave them a list and asked for a team, but they refused. Therefore, in frustration, he chose Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.

USA Today via Reuters

This oddly specific choice has landed the Franchise in tricky waters. Perhaps this was Lillard’s goal, but above all, his prime is under the line. Scant playoff success is the reason he is done with the Blazers. However, the team may not find the Heat as a suitable negotiating partner. They can quash Lillard’s demand. Then he will have to play for them like a disgruntled James Harden did for the Rockets during the 2020-21 season. In this wake, Sports Illustrated’s senior writer Chris Mannix gave his two cents. On his podcast, The Crossover, he said, “If Damian Lillard is still on that Blazers roster in January and if Oklahoma City is overachieving, they are playing really well and they look like might be Lillard-type player away from succeeding. Don’t be surprised if they go out and make a run at Damian Lillard”.

“Trust me. I wrote this last week. I believe I’m going to call this an educated opinion. That if Dame is still on that Blazers roster in January. And if OKC is overachieving. If they’re playing really well…Don’t be surprised if they go out & make a run at Lillard” @SIChrisMannix pic.twitter.com/WSn4Mem7wI

— Dru (@dru_star) September 17, 2023

He then lays out the reasons the team might do so.

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Oklahoma City has a lot to offer

Mannix continued, “They have an enormous amount of draft picks they can deal. They have got a wealth of young talent. This wealth of young talent looks great now, but at some point, you gotta pay these guys. At some point, they become pricey young talent. They have got an interesting team. Every talk about the Lillard contract being an albatross. For a team like Oklahoma City, which would have no way of acquiring a talent like Lillard, outside of a deal like this”.

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The Franchise which is valued at around $1.88 billion, has a lot of cap space left. The Oklahoma City Thunder can soak in Lillard’s last two years of his four-year $176 million contract. But will this scenario manifest? What if the Heat makes something happen before the season?

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