All summer long, the Portland Trail Blazers have seemingly been at a standoff with Damian Lillard after he asked them to trade him about two months ago.
He has made it clear he only wants to be traded to the Miami Heat, but the two teams have made little, if any, progress toward a potential deal.
It is starting to look like Lillard will still be a member of the Blazers when training camp opens in a few weeks, and he reportedly won’t report if he is traded to a team other than Miami.
He recently posted a cryptic message on Instagram, via NBA Retweet, that read: “A wise man once said nothing.”
“A wise man once said nothing.” pic.twitter.com/9IF4p2ZXmj
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) September 14, 2023
Lillard is coming off a sensational 2022-23 season, and even at age 33, he is still very much in his prime.
But in his 11 seasons in Portland, the team has never attained contender status, and it has reached the Western Conference Finals only once.
It has undergone a rebuilding project over the last couple years, getting much younger, and it is years away from competing for an NBA championship, which means trading Lillard makes sense since he and the rest of the team are on two very different timelines.
If he is ultimately sent to Miami, it could alter the balance of power in the league.
The Heat are coming off a trip to the NBA Finals, but they seriously lack offensive firepower, and Lillard could give them the firepower they have lacked, and then some.
A threesome of Lillard, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo would make the team the favorite to return to the Finals, if not win the title.
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