After relatively little movement on the Damian Lillard trade front, this week has seen several conflicting reports about a potential deal. That has made it difficult to determine where Dame will play next season. But, according to Heat Insider Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, all roads lead to Miami no matter where he is traded to.
That is to say, should the Portland Trail Blazers deal him to a team that is not the Heat, then Dame will demand a trade to Miami while on his new team. This latest news illustrates how laser-focused Dame is on playing with the Heat next season.
Still, with teams such as the Toronto Raptors sniffing around, it’s not impossible that he’ll be traded from the Blazers to another team before the start of next season. Would Dame really repeat the entire process with another team and further damage his reputation?
Possibly, but an equally important question is whether another team would give up actual assets to acquire him, knowing that he only wants to play in Miami. Also, who’s to say that Portland receives a package that is better than what the Heat have been offering? Toronto has already made a risky trade for a star, Kawhi Leonard, who didn’t want to be there, and it led to them winning a championship.
They just might try the same thing again by making a high-risk, high-reward deal with the Blazers. If the Raptors do emerge as serious suitors, then don’t expect the Heat to up their offer for him.
“They’re essentially daring Portland to go out into the marketplace — which is Portland is doing — and see if they can find better.” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said.
This is especially true if Jackson is right about Dame and how he would handle being dealt to another team.
Ultimately, there has seemingly been a lot more trade chatter surrounding Dame this week, and that might mean a deal is near. Even then, the odds that he ends up playing in Miami next season don’t appear to have worsened.