There’s been no meaningful dialogue between the Miami Heat and the Portland Trail Blazers regarding Damian Lillard, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Bobby Marks. Neither expects a trade to happen any time soon.
That said, they had some interesting comments about where things stand on Lowe’s most recent podcast. Here’s the latest.
- Lowe said there’s been no talks between the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers regarding Lillard. “I’ve heard there’s been nothing. No meaningful dialogue at all,” Lowe said before adding, “More pointedly… I just don’t think there’s been another team… I just have not heard of any other team that has dove headlong, or even halfway into the Damian Lillard sweepstakes.”
- They went on to dismiss the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks and — to a lesser degree but still skeptical — the Brooklyn Nets.
- Marks agreed that “there’s been no conversations,” and added, “It’s been very quiet, especially on the Miami front. The only way we hear from Dame is if Dame makes it messy. I don’t think Damian Lillard right now is willing to make it messy in Portland.”
- That, so far, has not happened. When Lillard was recently given the chance to comment on the Blazers in an interview with Andscape’s Marc Spears, he declined to speak about the organization.
- Regarding whether Lillard would hold out or report to training camp if he’s not traded, both Lowe and Marks believe Lillard would remain professional. “If there’s not a deal at the end of September, which I don’t think there will be, I think Damian Lillard will be in [Portland’s] training camp and hopefully eventually something gets figured out here,” Marks said.
- Marks, a former NBA executive, said he understands Miami’s reluctance to improve their offer. “For Miami, you’re thinking, who are we actually bidding against? We’re not bidding against anybody here,” Marks said. He went on to note that he would not include Caleb Martin or unlock a third first-round pick by negotiating protections to the one owed to Oklahoma City at this stage in negotiations.
- Marks also remarked that he thinks the Blazers should take Tyler Herro back in a deal and move on.
- “If I was Portland, I would be fine with taking Herro back in a deal… and then figure it out (between) Herro and Simons. Maybe you pivot off one of those two guys eventually. I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker that you have Anfernee Simons on your roster with three years left on his contract and you’re getting Herro back with four years left on his contract. Do it and figure it out later.”