There has been no and will be no shift in Damian Lillard’s stance: A trade to the Miami Heat is what the seven-time All-Star really wants.
On Thursday, Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, confirmed his client’s stance and expressed optimism that the Portland Trail Blazers, with whom Lillard has spent his entire 11-year NBA career, would be able to initiate talks with the Miami Heat in the days ahead in preparation for the league’s upcoming Summer League.
This past weekend, the Trail Blazers made public that Lillard had requested a trade, ending weeks of rᴜmors and conjecture about his future with the team. The Blazers have only won four postseason series in Lillard’s 11 seasons, and they have missed the playoffs in each of the last two years by large margins.
Since “they’re all going to be in one place,” Goodwin is optimistic that at least preliminary discussions will begin. That’s what I’m praying for, anyway.
In order to make a trade, a substantial package of players and draft picks will be required. Lillard will make over $46 million this upcoming season, and if he chooses to activate his option for the 2026-27 season, he could make as much as $216 million over the next four years.
Goodwin remarked, “The solution comes in Miami actually sitting down and talking with Portland.” As one observer put it, “I think if they can ever sit down and get in a room, there could be a deal to be made.” Lillard averaged 32.2 points last season, has averaged at least 24 points in each of the last eight seasons, and is one of the few players in the NBA capable of sparking an offense.
On February 26 against the Houston Rockets, he scored 71 points, making him just the eighth player in NBA history to score 70 or more points in a game. Wilt Chamberlain (5 times), Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, David Robinson, Elgin Baylor, and Donovan Mitchell also made that list.
Even after 11 NBA seasons, Lillard is far from past his prime, since the other six players on that list all had their games of 71 points or more while they were between the ages of 23 and 28. The Heat are the current Eastern Conference winners, and they have made it to the NBA Finals twice in the last four years. They’ve been competitive, and adding Lillard to the mix with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would make them even more dangerous.
That “Dame’s position won’t change,” Goodwin assured us. Everything that’s happened here has been about creating a chance for Portland to win or providing him another chance, which he wants to be in Miami.