Despite recent reports that the Portland Trail Blazers are canvassing the market for trade offers for Damian Lillard, they have yet to find a deal better than what the Miami Heat can put together.
According to The Oregonian’s Aaron Fentress, the Blazers have come away unimpressed by the market for the 33-year-old, All-Star guard.
“They are talking to other teams in terms of trying to find another team who might give them an offer for Lillard, to other teams who might get involved that nothing to do with Miami and Detroit,” Fentress said on a podcast (H/t to HoopsHype). “And maybe Lillard goes to one of those teams that’s out there. I’m told that there’s not great traction in these areas, that they’re really not being wowed by anything that’s substantial.”
One of those teams is reportedly the Chicago Bulls, who could be keen on moving Zach LaVine in a deal that nets them Lillard. However, according to NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson, Portland is not interested in LaVine.
LaVine is entering the second year of a five-year, $215 million contract. LaVine, 28, is a proven scorer who has averaged 25.1 points on efficient shooting (47.7% overall, 38.8% on 3s) across the last five seasons. But he’s also a limited playmaker, below average defender and has played in just four playoff games in his career. Given his age, contract and position, he doesn’t make much sense for a Blazers team rebuilding around Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe.
The Heat are believed to be offering Tyler Herro as part of a Lillard trade package, but the Blazers have shown little interest due to their depth at the position. Still, Herro is younger and cheaper than LaVine and would be Portland’s better option of the two.
If there’s a takeaway from all of this, it’s that Portland has picked up its efforts to find a suitable trade for Lillard as training camp approaches in early October. If by scouring the market the Blazers come to grips with Lillard’s true trade value, it could lead them back to a phone call with the Heat.