As training camp approaches next week, the NBA’s biggest trade saga still has no conclusion. Damian Lillard issued a trade demand to Portland early in the offseason and the career-long Blazer has been adamant about a move to the Miami Heat. With both the NBA Draft and free agency in the rearview mirror, the Lillard trade talks have been quiet for the last six weeks, even though Lillard continues to discuss trade possibilities on public platforms.
In the NBA, deadlines make deals, and with media day and training camp around the corner for most teams, the urgency around a Lillard trade has apparently increased. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski went on NBA Today on Friday to discuss the latest updates in the Lillard saga, which includes an interesting twist: the latest talks with other teams have not included Miami.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 22, 2023
By wanting a move specifically to the Heat, Lillard has put the Blazers in a tough spot to negotiate a deal. It’s not surprising to hear Portland is reviewing their options around the league, considering Miami does not have a young blue chip prospect to trade and their draft equity is lackluster at best. Whether there is a better deal to be had for Lillard remains to be seen, but this is the most movement we’ve seen on a Lillard trade this summer. And while anything is possible, it does seem like training camp could turn into something of a deadline for Portland.
"[The Trail Blazers are] going to reach a point here where this is what it is… They are trying to find a trade now and not put the organization, put everybody through having [Damian] Lillard report to training camp."
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 22, 2023