After Failed Bradley Beal Trade, Miami Heat Now Look To Acquire Damian Lillard


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The Miami Heat are now shifting their attention towards acquiring another star player.

After their failed attempt at acquiring All-Star guard Bradley Beal — he’ll be taking his talents to the Phoenix Suns — the Heat will now try to make a move for Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, according to Bleacher Report and TNT’s Chris Haynes.

“Miami’s focus is Portland superstar Damian Lillard with the genuine belief this could be the offseason the veteran guard seeks a change of scenery, league sources tell


It’s no secret the Heat are attempting to acquire a third star to team up with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. As good as Miami has been over the last few years, they’ve come up consistently short in securing the franchise’s fourth title. Four years into the Butler era, the Heat have two NBA Finals appearances and one other Eastern Conference Finals appearance on their resume, but zero championships.

With the 2023 NBA Finals making it clear that the Heat are clearly a step — or star — behind the Denver Nuggets, the Heat are hoping this is finally the summer that Lillard is dealt.

The 32-year-old star point guard has been the subject of trade rumors in recent years, but the Blazers have refused to hit the button on a rebuild. Furthermore, Lillard has continued to stress his desire to build a contender in Portland. However, he’s also not interested in a rebuild.

If the Blazers choose to rebuild, the Heat would immediately emerge as the top landing spot for the seven-time All-Star guard. Lillard has already listed the Heat — the Brooklyn Nets were the other team — as a team he’d be interested in playing for if he’s not in Portland.

The key here is whether or not the Blazers plan to head towards that direction. There are obvious reasons why Portland should rebuild, considering they’ve missed the playoffs over the past two years combined with the fact they’ve advanced past the first round just once in the past seven years. In fact, during the Lillard era — since 2012 — Portland has advanced past the first round just three times.

Despite the lack of success in recent years, the Blazers could still opt to try to build a contender around Lillard. The 2023 NBA Draft — where the Blazers hold the No. 3 and No. 23 picks — will likely decide which direction they’re leaning towards. If Portland opts to keep its top pick, where they’ll likely select either Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller, that could mean the Blazers are choosing to rebuild without Lillard.

If they decide to trade that pick or become active in the trade market on draft night, it could mean Portland is looking to acquire core pieces to surround Lillard with.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Lillard wants to remain in Portland. However, the ball is in their court on whether or not Lillard will remain with the Blazers.

“Right now it is really up to Portland,” said Shams Charania on the Pat McAfee Show. “Damian Lillard has really left it up to Portland. He wants to be there. He wants that team to get better. They have the No. 3 pick in the draft, they have the No. 23 pick in the draft, they have Anfernee Simons…What can you go get in the marketplace to make this team better? If nothing comes about, then I do think Damian Lillard will have to look very hard at his future in Portland.”

Getting a deal done before July 1 — during the draft, for example — is important for the Heat due to the new CBA rules that go into effect on July 1. That’s because Miami — a luxury tax team — can’t take back salaries that exceed 110% of what they’re trading out. Before July 1, they’re allowed to take back salaries as much as 125% of what they trade out.

Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald explains what would be needed for the Heat to send out in order to acquire Lillard.

“In other words, the Heat only needs to include at least about $34 million of salaries in a trade for Lillard if it’s completed by the end of June,” writes Chiang. “Starting July 1, the Heat needs to include at least about $41.5 million of salaries in a trade for Lillard.”

Under those guidelines, the Heat could send out Kyle Lowry ($29.7 million) and Caleb Martin ($6.8 million) or Victor Oladipo ($9.5 million) along with a package of draft picks (the Heat have three first-round picks available) in a trade for Lillard.

It’s all a matter of what the Blazers decide what their future is going to be. If they choose to rebuild, Lillard likely ends up in Miami. If they choose to contend, the Heat are left in the dust without a third star.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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