Damian Lillard’s eleven-year tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers has finally come to an end.
Even one of the most loyal players in the league could only take so much, and the team’s inability — or reluctance — to build a contending team despite his requests in the offseason was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Lillard formally requested a trade, but the situation didn’t stop there.
He let the team know that he wanted to be traded to the Miami Heat, and that’s reportedly the only team he intends to play for, at least for the foreseeable future.
Lillard is so adamant about taking his talents to South Beach that even his agent is telling every other team showing interest in trading for him that he’s not going to be happy anywhere else, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Damian Lillard’s agent has been calling teams and warning against trading for him, per @wojespn
“Goodwin is telling organizations outside of Miami that trading for Lillard is trading for an unhappy player.” pic.twitter.com/NZRyne8JWC
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) July 6, 2023
Needless to say, that’s going to extremely limit his market, thus making it quite difficult for the Blazers to find solid value in return for him.
The Heat’s trade offers have been less than impressive, and they don’t have the assets it would normally take to get a player of Lillard’s caliber, especially with four years still left on his deal.
Pat Riley is reportedly trying to get as many teams as needed involved in a potential blockbuster transaction to do right by the Blazers and honor Lillard’s value.
But even if they fail, it seems like the Blazers will eventually have no choice but to comply with their superstar’s demands, even if it’s not in their best interests.