Aaron Goodwin, Damian Lillard’s agent, reportedly counseled clubs other than the Miami Heat against trading for Lillard. According to the latest NBA news from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Goodwin has told these teams that they would be obtaining “an unhappy player.” This move is viewed as a method to ensure that Lillard arrives at his desired location. This is specifically for if the Portland Trail Blazers decide to deal the seven-time All-Star.
NBA News: Lillard’s Desire to Play for Miami Heat
Goodwin later confirmed his client’s desires when speaking to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. He stated, “I do what I should for my client. Some teams I did call. Other teams have called me. It’s a respectful relationship with most teams. Truthfully, he wants to play in Miami. Period.” This statement makes it clear that Lillard’s preference is to play for the Miami Heat, You can follow NBA Live Scores on Flashscore
The Role of Blazers’ General Manager
Goodwin also mentioned that he had advised Blazers general manager Joe Cronin to have a “meaningful negotiation” with the Heat. This is seen as a move to facilitate Lillard’s move to his preferred team. However, Wojnarowski noted that this is a “time-honored agent maneuver” designed to suppress the trade market for a player to get them to a predetermined destination. He also mentioned that general managers he spoke with said it “won’t impact how they’ll proceed” as they explore talks with the Blazers for Lillard.
Lillard’s Trade Request and Potential Destinations
Following Portland general manager Joe Cronin’s confirmation on July 1 that Lillard has requested a trade, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that Lillard is “specifically” seeking to play for the Heat. However, if things don’t work out with Miami, the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Utah Jazz could be of interest to Lillard, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
NBA News: The Obstacle for Miami Heat
The biggest obstacle that appears to be facing the Heat is a lack of appealing trade assets for the Blazers. Wojnarowski mentioned earlier this week on SportsCenter that Portland is “not impressed” with Miami’s offer. Particularly, because the Blazers aren’t interested in Tyler Herro as they already have Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, and Scoot Henderson as backcourt options.
The Blazers’ Perspective
From the Blazers’ perspective, they are “going to do what’s best for the team.” The team is looking to build a championship-caliber roster. Trading a franchise icon like Lillard makes it easy to understand why the Trail Blazers would want to maximize their return. However, they made things more difficult for themselves by extending his contract last summer.
Lillard’s Contract and Value
Lillard is signed for the next three years. The player also has a $63.2 million player option for the 2026-27 season when he will be 36. Teams could be more reluctant to give up significant future assets for a player at this stage of Lillard’s career and with that contract. Despite this, Lillard remains an incredibly valuable player. The main reason is that he is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 32.2 points per game in 58 starts.
In conclusion, the Damian Lillard trade saga is a complex one, with multiple parties involved and various interests at stake. It remains to be seen how this situation will unfold and where Lillard will eventually end up.