Lillard’s Trade Request: Within the first 24 hours of his free agency on July 1, Damian Lillard informed the Portland Trail Blazers that he wanted to be transferred. Although free agency is almost over, Lillard is still playing for the Blazers. Although Lillard has made it obvious that he only wants to play for the Miami Heat, Portland is adamant about finding the greatest contract for the team’s long-term success.
It appears that the Blazers have convinced Miami to make Lillard their best and last offer. The Heat don’t want to make a proposal that would compete with their own, since other interested parties are worried that Lillard wouldn’t want to go. There is almost no hope of breaking this impasse.
Although Lillard’s desire for a trade would seem to shake the NBA, similar scenarios occur every year. It was Kevin Durant who asked for a trade before Dame. James Harden was the previous one to force his way out of Houston before KD. Anthony Davis came first, then Harden. The pick-and-roll and the superstar trade request are both essential elements of the NBA. When MVP centre Bill Walton asked for a transfer in 1978, Portland was in a similar predicament. Check out the outcomes for Lillard’s trade request below.
Possible outcomes for Damian Lillard’s trade request
Years of NBA superstars requesting trades have given us insight into how Lillard’s predicament may ultimately develop. There are only five possible outcomes.
1. Before the season, Damian Lillard is dealt to the Miami Heat
Lillard is a Heat fan. The Heat desire Lillard. There is a possible trade route here, but it will either need the Heat to hand up every asset they have or the Blazers to accept a poor deal.
Miami may provide first-round picks in 2028 and 2030; these picks are not guaranteed. It can add a third first-round pick in 2026 if the protections on a future pick due to the Thunder are altered. The Heat also have Tyler Herro as a possibility, but the Blazers do not want him. The approaching pay expiry for Kyle Lowry may be a factor. Jaime Jaquez, a rookie, and Nikola Jovic, a sophomore, are likely to be moved to Portland if this deal is finalised. The Blazers will probably also want Jusuf Nurkic’s deal, which is viewed as a “player-friendly” agreement.
The current sticking point seems to be the option to trade Herro to a third team for one or two additional picks, but that would need that team placing a high enough value on Herro. It seems improbable. The addition of the unprotected 2026 selection seems to be the main deciding factor, though. It seems like a nice trade for the Blazers if Portland can get Jaquez, three unprotected first-round selections, and release Nurkic from his contract. Miami must undoubtedly lay everything out on the table.
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2. Damian Lillard joins the Blazers once more and awaits a trade
Lillard is rumoured to have played his final game for the Trail Blazers, although that isn’t confirmed just yet. Joe Cronin, the top Blazers official, has previously stated that it may take months to finalise a Lillard deal. There is a chance that Lillard may return to Portland and play there while awaiting a trade if the situation continues into the current season.
Lillard was in the same predicament as Durant a year ago when he asked the Brooklyn Nets for a trade. KD played 39 games for the franchise at an MVP level before being eventually traded to Phoenix because the Nets were unable to come up with an agreeable trade offer. The Suns’ ownership changed in that instance, and Mat Ishbia led the charge to bring in Durant once he assumed control of the organisation. It won’t take place in a comparable circumstance to intervene and save a prospective Lillard trade.
When Lillard asked the Brooklyn Nets for a trade last year, he was in a similar situation to Durant. Before being finally sold to Phoenix because the Nets were unable to come up with a deal that would work, KD played 39 games for the team at an MVP level. In that case, the Suns’ ownership shifted, and Mat Ishbia spearheaded the effort to sign Durant once he took over the team. It won’t happen in a situation similar to that one to save a potential Lillard trade.
3. Damian Lillard withdraws his desire for a trade.
The least likely choice, but one that should nevertheless be taken into account. Lillard may return to Portland, see that the squad has improved more than he had anticipated thanks to Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe’s growth, and elect to stay with the Blazers.
Henderson may be a rookie who is already performing at a star level. Maybe Nurkic has a great year, and Jerami Grant has a rebound season. Maybe the Blazers can convince him that a significant experienced addition is likely to come.
Although I don’t see that occurring, it is conceivable.
4. Damian Lillard refuses to leave until a deal is made
If he isn’t dealt, would Lillard truly decide to sit out of training camp and the rest of the season? It’s a step that Durant did not take last season because he was waiting for Brooklyn to move him, but Ben Simmons has done it recently. Following his meltdown in the 2021 playoffs, Simmons waited for a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers and did not play.
It seemed unlikely that Lillard would take his push for a trade this far. He would expose himself to penalties and damage to his reputation. If Lillard is convinced that he will only play in Miami and nowhere else, he can attempt to force Portland’s hand by refusing to play.
5. Damian Lillard is dealt away from the Heat to another franchise.
The most enjoyable possibility to consider is this one. Teams have allegedly been hesitant to offer Portland compelling trade packages for Lillard up to this point because he has been so adamant about joining the Heat. But it will soon become open season for other teams to attempt to participate in the Dame derby if Miami continues to refuse to put its best offer on the table.
With the possibility to add future first-round selections from the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks acquired in the Durant and Kyrie Irving transactions, the Brooklyn Nets have always made sense as a potential Lillard destination. I agreed with Michael Pina’s proposal that the Toronto Raptors get involved by providing Scottie Barnes, an old buddy who is currently working for The Ringer. Rumours have it that the Boston Celtics are putting together a trade offer centred on Derrick White and Robert Williams. The Philadelphia 76ers would ideally sign Lillard to play with Joel Embiid, but it’s difficult to envision how they might make that work.
In either case, there will be greater opportunity for participation from other teams the longer this goes on. Lillard will ultimately be dealt from Portland, but as the offseason goes on, it’s unclear where or for what.
So these are the Possible outcomes for Damian Lillard’s trade request. Let us know your views in the comment section below.