The Heat may have correctly called the Trail Blazers’ bluff with their most recent decision in regard to the Damian Lillard trade talks. After a report that Miami is “essentially daring” Portland to find a better deal than what the Heat can offer, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it appears an effort to do so by the Blazers hasn’t exactly gone well.
In a recent breakdown of the Lillard trade talks, Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian reported that there “hasn’t been great traction” between the Blazers and other teams about a possible deal. He also cited that Portland is “not being wowed by anything that’s substantial” from the potential offers.
“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 stated on the Blazer Focused podcast, per 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.”
Considering Lillard hasn’t publicly (or through any reports or rumors) expanded his list of interested teams from the initially linked Heat, this isn’t all that surprising. Whether or not the Blazers choose to flip back to Miami in an effort to land the best possible package, or just let the situation roll into the season, will be a situation to monitor. But if true, this report is likely a major positive for the Heat in their pursuit of Lillard.
For now, with NBA training camps just days away, it appears more likely than not that Lillard will still be a Blazer as the season gets close to tipping off.