By 750 THE GAME STAFF
Damian Lillard may very well end up with the Miami Heat. But how he gets to South Beach is anyone’s guess.
The Trail Blazers star officially asked out of Portland on July 1st and reports say his only goal is to get to Miami, whatever it takes.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote in a piece Thursday morning that Trail Blazers GM Joe Cronin is in no hurry to make the trade of his NBA life if it means not getting maximum value.
On the other hand, Lillard’s agent Aaron Goodwin has reportedly been calling teams outside of the Heat and telling them Lillard will be unhappy if he is traded there. It is Goodwin’s attempt to depress the trade market around Lillard and enhance the chances of Miami having the best trade offer.
Goodwin spoke with Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian on Thursday afternoon and said he expects the Blazers and Heat to sit down and talk through trade possibilities, which is what Damian Lillard wants.
“I had a positive conversation with Joe (Cronin) and I made it clear that Damian would want them to sit down and have a meaningful negotiation with Miami. And I think that’s something that Joe and the Blazers will do,” said Goodwin, via Fentress, in a Twitter post Thursday afternoon.
Miami’s trade package in its current form would leave Portland wanting. Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Nikola Jovic, Jaime Jacquez and first-round picks in 2028 and 2030 are not enough to match the value of the seven-time All-NBA guard.
Conversely, the 33-year-old Lillard signed another supermax extension last year that will make him an expensive 36 and 37-year-old point guard, paying him an average of $60 Million in 2025-26 and ’26-27.
That kind of paycheck could keep Lillard’s trade market lower than some might think.
Summer League gets underway this weekend for the Blazers, and Joe Cronin and staff will certainly be busy with in-person meetings with any serious Lillard suitor, including the Miami Heat.
Just spoke with Damian Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin:
“I had a positive conversation with Joe (Cronin) and I made it clear that Damian would want them to sit down and have a meaningful negotiation with Miami. And I think that’s something that Joe and the Blazers will do.” pic.twitter.com/PEBcLXcgwH
— Aaron J. Fentress (@AaronJFentress) July 6, 2023