Here’s the latest on the Miami Heat’s pursuit of Damian Lillard and one of Miami’s free agents signing elsewhere.
Damian Lillard has made it clear he hopes to play next season in Miami, but the Heat and Trail Blazers are at an impasse. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, “Portland has told Miami [to] make your best offer.”
The two sides have not had any meaningful dialogue in some time and there is no traction on a deal, added Charania, and “It’s really up to the Blazers and Heat to engage in negotiations at this point.”
The Heat’s stance is that they have the only offer, which would likely include Tyler Herro, additional salary via Kyle Lowry or Duncan Robinson and, per Charania, three or four first-round picks, including one or two from another team for Herro, multiple first-round pick swaps and multiple second-round picks.
Portland’s stance is, reportedly, that they want more and are waiting for the Heat to put their best offer on the table despite the fact that the Heat are not negotiating against any other teams.
What would the “best” offer look like? In addition to finding a third team to exchange multiple picks for Herro, it would likely include rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. and perhaps Caleb Martin. The Heat are understandably reluctant to do that because it would drain the team of it’s depth needed to support Lillard, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
(Side note: Could “best offer” mean Adebayo? The Heat would never entertain that, but if that’s what Portland is looking for then the sides are much further away on a deal than most think. Again, no indication that that’s true.)
The Heat are attempting to leverage Lillard’s wishes and one-city list of preferred destinations against the Blazers, while the Blazers are attempting to leverage time against the Heat. Who will blink first?
More Heat news:
- Former Heat center Omer Yurtseven agreed to a two-year deal with the Utah Jazz, officially ending his tenure in Miami. This should not come as a surprise, especially after the Heat signed Thomas Bryant and Orlando Robinson earlier in the free-agency process. Yurtseven also made it known that he wants a chance to play more next season. In Utah, he has a chance to compete for backup center minutes behind Walker Kessler.
- Jamal Cain remains a restricted free agent and, according to the Miami Herald, is hoping to be promoted from his two-way contract to a standard roster spot. Cain averaged 15.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in Las Vegas Summer League. The Heat have filled 13 of their 15 available standard contracts, although they could opt to leave one open during the season. We dive into that more here.