Throughout most of the NBA offseason, it was expected that former Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard would land with the Heat in a trade. However, on Wednesday, Lillard was traded to the Bucks in a three-team blockbuster deal that didn’t involve Miami at all.
While this trade destination came as a shock to much of the NBA world, ESPN’s Marc J. Spears added more context to what went down with the Heat in the recent weeks. According to Spears, Lillard’s agent Aaron Goodwin reportedly told the Bucks and Nets 10 days ago that the seven-time All-Star would be interested in a trade to either one of those franchises. Additionally, the Raptors were a “real contender” for Lillard’s future team, as recent reports had indicated.
Spears’s report comes after it was previously reported that the Heat were “daring” the Trail Blazers to find other interested teams in Lillard. In the end, Portland appeared to do exactly that, taking a different route to trade away its franchise centerpiece.
Goodwin shared a message of gratitude for the Heat’s negotiations on Wednesday, while also leaving out any mention of Portland after the deal with the Bucks came to fruition. While the exact reason for the Heat and Trail Blazers’ inability to strike a deal is unknown, it was previously reported that Portland had demands that were too high for Miami to fulfill.