Damian Lillard has informed the Portland Trail Blazers that he would like to be traded to the Miami Heat, but there may be some other contending teams that are hoping the star point guard changes his mind.
Shams Charania of The Athletic spoke about the Lillard situation during a Monday appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show.” He said teams other than the Heat are doing “back-channel research” to find out if Lillard would even want to play for them. Two of those teams are the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers.
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“In those cases where teams have done their back-channel research to find out what Dame is thinking and would he want to play for us, whether it’s the Clippers or the Celtics — those are among the teams I have heard that have had a level of interest in Dame Lillard,” Charania said. “The answer has been a resounding ‘no.’ He wants to be in Miami, period. If you trade for him, I think there’s the risk of trading for a disgruntled player.”
Lillard’s agent has informed interested teams that the 32-year-old only wants to play for Miami. That has put the Portland Trail Blazers in a difficult position.
Even with Lillard insisting he will on play for Miami, the Blazers are said to be seeking a massive return. A third team will likely have to get involved for their asking price to be met.
Portland general manager Joe Cronin sent a clear message this week about the Lillard situation. Unless Lillard changes his mind and shows a willingness to play for teams other than the Heat, he may not wind up being traded at all.