Damian Lillard is still persistent on leaving the Portland Trailblazers and joining the Miami Heat. Lillard has clarified that he wants to join the Heat and won’t join any other NBA franchise. Therefore, the Miami Heat are the frontrunners to land the point guard in this situation. However, rumours and reports continue to surface regarding the superstar.
NBA Insider Shams Charania also believes that it will be a significant upset for the Heat if they don’t land Lillard considering the offseason moves that the franchise has already made in anticipation.
“If Miami misses out on Damian Lillard, that’s going to be a gut punch for them, because they have been preparing for that,” Charania said on “The Rally.” “Gabe Vincent leaves in free agency. Max Strus leaves in free agency. They have been building the whole summer on going and getting Damian Lillard.”
However, the talks between the Heat and Blazers have stalled. Portland are aiming to use this opportunity to make the most in terms of picks and players. But the Heat are in no intention to blow out their roster. The teams have failed to reach a middle ground as of now.
“They want the Heat to literally scrounge into every nook and cranny and produce everything they possibly can. The Heat don’t feel a need to do that,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said.
The trade talks must intensify in the next few weeks as the Heat are more inclined to bring Lillard to their franchise. However, they are limited with their options and one thing they can do is play the waiting game and see how things turn out between Lilard and the Blazers in the first few weeks of the season and then decide in the February trade deadline.
The other NBA superstar who asked for a trade is James Harden. Also, he has named the Los Angeles Clippers as his preferred destination. However, the talks between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Clippers ended.
Miami Heat can also opt for keeping their roster intact and try and hold their position in the league. They will still keep their contending status like last season. However, they have lost two key players Vincent and Max Strus. But Tyler Herro will be available after coming back from injury and Thomas Bryant will add firepower to the center position.
Lillard will surely make the Miami Heat the favourite to win the NBA Championship. He will add that extra panache to their team that may take them all the way, unlike last season. But even without him, the Heat have shown that they can be a superb side. They have had multiple Finals and Eastern Conference Finals appearances in the last four years.
It remains to be seen what ultimately happens with Lillard and also with the Miami Heat in the upcoming season.