Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard’s trade request is approaching two months. The negotiation marked by a public request by the star to join the Miami Heat, continues to be unsuccessful. According to journalist Barry Jackson of the newspaper Miami Herald, conversations between the franchises aren’t even happening.
“He’s decided. Wants to play for the Heat. However, negotiations are not only not taking place, but have also been stalled for weeks. In fact, Miami isn’t even convinced Portland wants to trade him. So far, the Oregon team has not been interested in any assets from the Florida team. Also, they’re not interested in sitting down and talking about it,” explained Jackson.
“From what I heard, Portland GM Joe Cronin expected other teams to be interested in the player. With the current soap opera with Miami at a standstill, that was the expectation. But, it is not known if the franchise has any other offer”, reveals the analyst.
The last big news had come from Shams Charania, from the portal The Athletic. O insider revealed the package Miami was willing to send to the Blazers in exchange for Damian Lillard.
According to Sharania, since July, the general idea is that the Heat want to negotiate through the following package: three or four first-round picks in Draft. In addition, pick-Swaps first-round and second-round picks. Finally, send Nikola Jovic, who is worth US$2.3 million in 2023/24, with two more years with a team option, worth US$6.9 million.
Miami also wants to send expiring contracts to the Blazers to match wages. For this question, the following players apply: Kyle Lowry ($29.6 million in 2023/24). Likewise, Caleb Martin ($6.8 million in 2023/24, with a player option for 2024/25 worth $7.1 million). Finally, Haywood Highsmith ($1.9 million in 2023/24), would also be involved.
Tyler Herro will be in the business as well, according to Shams. The big point that contributes to the exchange not being closed yet is that the winger is not of interest to the Heat. A third team that absorbs the player, and gives even more things in a package to the Blazers, is sought to facilitate the deal.
interview for a ESPN
The most recent public appearance by the 33-year-old player took place in an interview with journalist Marc Spears, from the channel ESPN. The material was released on Thursday (24).
“I can confirm that I asked for an exchange”, confirms the athlete. “And I prefer not to talk about the franchise. I have a lot of love and respect for the Trail-Blazers. That’s all, I’d rather not talk about the team.”
“The older you get, you certainly start dedicating even more time to all of this. I feel on top of the game. I have individual achievements, great moments, and I feel an ever-increasing desire for the final achievement that is, after all, winning a title. This is at the top of my priority list right now. It’s what I want most in the world, and I’ll keep wanting it,” reflects Lillard.
Asked about loyalty and previous positions, when he stated on several occasions that he preferred to win a championship in his first team, than in a super formation, he did not hesitate: “I have already spoken a lot about this. I consider myself very loyal. But most of all, I’m loyal to who I am and what I think is right. Loyalty is also with yourself, it is individual”.
“I will fight until the end of my strength for a title. But I need to be part of something that is also in this goal, in this path. Things need to be aligned, in unity. That’s a priority for me, and ultimately, I’m loyal to that.”
“This will not change my relationship with the city. I love Portland. I will continue all the projects and work that I have developed together with the community. Whenever I meet a fan on the street, it’s still very nice. They love me and thank me for everything I’ve done. Nothing can erase that,” concluded the star.
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