Northwest Notes: Lillard, Holmgren, Micic, Edwards

Since Damian Lillard made his trade request on Saturday, it has been made clear by various reporters that he’s focused on landing with the Heat, but that the Trail Blazers don’t seem overly enthusiastic about what Miami can offer. The belief is that if the Blazers are going to make a deal with Miami, they would want to involve a third team in order to secure more assets that appeal to them, likely in place of Tyler Herro, who would be redundant in Portland’s crowded backcourt.

In an ESPN appearance (YouTube link), Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed that the Blazers are “not impressed” by the assets that the Heat have to offer, adding that Portland has been fielding calls from various teams around the NBA who are inquiring to see what it might take to land Lillard. While the Blazers could potentially get a stronger package from another team, it also remains to be seen how the star guard might respond if he’s sent somewhere he doesn’t want to be, which may give suitors outside of Miami pause about putting their best assets on the table.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter video link), the Blazers have explored multi-team trade scenarios that would send Lillard to the Heat and net Portland more draft assets than Miami has to offer directly.

“There are three- or four-team scenarios in a potential deal with the Heat that would potentially net the Blazers several first-round draft picks,” Charania said during an appearance on The Rally.

While Charania didn’t offer any further details, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report tries his hand at putting together some hypothetical multi-team Lillard deals that he believes are at least somewhat plausible.

As we await more signs of forward progress in the Lillard talks, here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • After missing his entire rookie season due to a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, Thunder big man Chet Holmgren made his 2023 Summer League debut in Salt Lake City on Monday. As Tim MacMahon of ESPN writes, last year’s No. 2 overall pick looked a little rusty, but ended up with 15 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks — more importantly, the foot felt “great,” according to Holmgren. “It’s like the injury never happened, other than everything I had to go through obviously,” he said. “But at this point, if you erased my memory, I wouldn’t know that anything had happened to my foot other than the scars from surgery.”
  • Numerous EuroLeague veterans have flopped in the NBA, but Vasilije Micic will try to buck that trend with the Thunder, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes. Only 10 Europeans have debuted in the NBA at age 29 or older and a majority had limited success. Micic agreed to a three-year, $23.5MM contract over the weekend.
  • With Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards set to sign a massive new maximum-salary extension, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic takes a look at some of the on- and off-court responsibilities that will come with Edwards’ new deal.
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