After months of trade rumors, the Blazers finally traded away Damian Lillard as the Bucks stepped on in a three-team deal to land the seven-time All Star point guard. That is despite the Heat being Lillard’s preferred destination since he requested a trade in the early offseason.
While Lillard didn’t end up going to his top choice, he doesn’t appear to be blaming Miami for that. In fact, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports Lillard’s camp thinks the Blazers wanted to trade him to any team other than the Heat.
“I believe Damian Lillard and his camp definitely believe that Portland just did not have any interest in fulfilling his wish, and that’s trading him to the Miami Heat,” Charania said
Charania said that in other big-name trades of the past, teams made more of an effort to send their star to the preferred destination. However, in this case, Lillard thinks Portland was adamant in finding another trade partner.
After the trade went through, Charania also reported that Portland initially asked for Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo when discussing a deal with the Heat. Instead, the Blazers ended up with a package headlined by DeAndre Ayton and Jrue Holiday after trading Lillard.
Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, publicly thanked the Heat front office Wednesday for trying to acquire his client, even though Miami ultimately came up short. This report lines up with recent rumors, as Portland reportedly refused to talk with Miami about a possible trade as recently as this week.