Along with requesting a trade out of Portland, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has reportedly specified the Miami Heat as his preferred trade destination.
Damian Lillard wants the Heat.
That’s figuratively and literally, as a move from Portland to Miami would make the Heat one of the NBA title favorites going into the 2023-24 season.
Lillard requested a trade on Saturday, according to multiple reports, prompting a wave of speculation about trades to a wide array of teams. But the Heat are Lillard’s top choice, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
NBA Rumors: Damian Lillard prefers a trade to the Heat
Lillard’s preference for Miami isn’t exactly a surprise. They were one of the main teams linked to him throughout the lead up to the NBA Draft, as the Trail Blazers decided what to do with the No. 3 overall pick. The guard reportedly wanted the team to trade the pick of win-now assets. Instead, they chose Scoot Henderson and set off the final domino towards a trade request.
Lillard doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so technically Portland can send him to whichever teams offers the best package. However, considering the years of service from Lillard, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Trail Blazers try to accommodate that preference. The question is whether the Heat can present a competitive enough deal to prevent another team from making an offer Portland couldn’t refuse.
If the Heat added Lillard, they’d have one of the best Big 3s in basketball with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Lillard expected to get Miami back to the NBA Finals immediately.