The story of the offseason has revolved around the Portland Trail Blazers and what they are going to do with Damian Lillard, who finally requested a trade.
For years, the Trail Blazers tried to put a roster around Lillard that could compete for a title, but after another trip to the lottery the All-NBA guard decided it was time for him to finally move on.
With Lillard actually available to be had, teams began to inquire on what it would take to acquire him, but the Miami Heat were pegged as the favorites when he named them his preferred destination.
Since then, Miami has been trying hard to come up with a trade package that would meet Portland’s asking price but so far there’s been little to no traction.
However, teams like the Toronto Raptors have reportedly been linked to the Lillard sweepstakes and there seems to be growing momentum for them to complete a deal.
Toronto pushing themselves to the forefront of the Lillard negotiations has reporters like Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald questioning what the Blazers’ end game is.
The mystery remains why Blazers refuse to engage the Heat or even ask them for their best offer. Why are they so opposed to sending Lillard the 1 place he wants to be? Do they already know they hate every possible Heat asset? Is it pettiness? Bizarre https://t.co/YL2iWngIqj
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) September 25, 2023
While it may be fair to wonder why Portland hasn’t entertained Miami more seriously, the most likely reason is that a two-way trade between them doesn’t net the former what it wants.
Tyler Herro would be the centerpiece of any Heat offer and the Blazers already have a crowded young backcourt in Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, and Scoot Henderson.
Toronto has plenty of intriguing pieces they could send Portland, so they could very well swoop in underneath Miami’s feet to acquire Lillard.NEXT: Insider Says 1 Team Is Genuinely Interested In Damian Lillard