Grading the Miami Heat’s eventful 2023 NBA off-season (so far)

May 23, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /
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Miami Heat: Nikola Jovic, Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard
Oct 26, 2022; Portland, Oregon, USA: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /

What’s to come for the Miami Heat

All eyes are on Damian Lillard for the Miami Heat. It’s been reported by numerous outlets that the All-Star only wants to play for Miami after requesting a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers over the last few weeks. The Heat should undoubtedly be mutually interested in Lillard, as he could be the piece that pushes them over the top as contenders.

Lillard, a seven-time All-Star and member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, would create an outright lethal Big 3 in Miami alongside Butler and Adebayo. A major thing that has hindered the Heat over the past few years has been an inability to score the ball, so getting one of the best scorers in the game today would certainly help. Lillard is coming off a season where he averaged an impressive 32.2 points per game, the highest of his career.

Getting Lillard is far easier said than done. While it’s abundantly clear that he only wants to land in Miami, Portland will not be settling in any package. They’ve held firm to this point that they want a real return for him, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Blazers have not been impressed with the offers lately. Given that Lillard has made it clear that he only wants Miami, it makes sense that the Heat would try to get him for pennies on the dollar. Still, it’s not enough.

It would be beyond surprising if Damian Lillard was not on the Heat when next season begins.