Damian Lillard Finally Requests To Be Traded Out Of Portland
After years of flirting with the idea, Damian Lillard has finally done it. He requested a trade from the Portland Trailblazers. After spending 11 seasons with Portland, the 32-year-old wants out so he can have a chance to compete. He said early in the off-season that he wanted the Trailblazers to build a team around him. But after they used the 3rd overall pick instead of trading it for another star, and being mostly quiet in Free Agency outside of acquiring Jerami Grant, Dame has had enough.
The Heat, Clippers and 76ers are three teams that will have interest in exploring trades for Lillard, sources tell ESPN. The Blazers are expected to value deals that would bring them back young players and draft assets. https://t.co/5KM6EF4RRT— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2023
The caveat, that Sixers fans won’t love, is that he is targeting a trade to Miami. He suggested as much in an interview about a month back, saying Bam Adebayo was his guy and that he would like to play in Miami. But seeing it being actually reported that Miami is his desired destination is a bit of a letdown.
Does that mean the Sixers have no shot? Not exactly. In terms of assets a team could offer Portland, Tyrese Maxey is the best anyone could do. The Heat and Clippers don’t have a rising star like Maxey they could throw into the deal. Nor do the Nets unless they are willing to part with Mikal Bridges. If the Sixers are willing to part with Maxey, they can put together the best package even without having many tradeable draft picks. Plus they do have James Harden to trade, and they could flip him for more assets to add to a potential deal for Damian Lillard.
That won’t matter though if Damian Lillard says he will only go to Miami. While reports are Dame wants to go to Miami, no one has reported yet that he would not accept a trade to another competitive team. As Woj reported above, the Sixers are at least in the mix.
But given how the Heat have been shedding cap space so far this offseason, by letting Gabe Vincent walk and trading Max Strus, it seems the cogs may already be in motion to have Dame land in Miami. While Tyler Herro is not Tyrese Maxey, he is still a young talented player. And if Portland has no choice but to work with Miami, he would have to be enough as the big piece of a deal for Dame.
We will see what happens. It seems like it is a long shot that the Sixers could land him. But the reporting does not suggest that they have no chance, just that Miami is the favorite.
Tracking All The NBA Free Agency News and Moves
NBA Free Agency is always an adventure. Officially “Legal Tampering” begins at 6 pm. But we all know there were talks going on long before then. Every year there are deals suddenly agreed to moments past when teams can officially negotiate. Are we to believe that they negotiated these complicated deals in just a few minutes? It’s why it was ridiculous that the Sixers got penalized multiple second-round picks for “tampering” with James Harden and PJ Tucker. Because everyone tampers.
And we are once again here. And due to the recent Harden news, plus whatever is going on with Tobias Harris, it could be a very interesting free agency for the Sixers. Even if none of the moves they make are technically free agents. It is looking like Harden will be heading to the Clippers. But there is also word the Knicks could be in on him too.
But it is not just the Sixers with a lot of choices to make. Damian Lillard is once again flirting with asking out, though he has not done so yet. Kyrie Irving could be on the move. We already had some big trades with Chris Paul being traded twice and Bradley Beal heading to the Suns. And over this Holiday weekend, there are sure to be many more moves that shake up the NBA.
What are the Sixers going to do? Will they accomplish the dream and land Damian Lillard? Could it be some other star coming back? Or will they get no one of that level back? What about Tobias Harris, could he be moved as he seems to want? And where will all the other big names around the NBA land?
You can keep track of everything the Sixers do, as well as the other big news going on in the NBA Free Agency right here.