Damian Lillard Rumors: Heat, Raptors, Bucks

While the Trail Blazers and Heat could rekindle their Damian Lillard trade discussions at some point, each team has an understanding about where the other stands, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, who says there’s a “fundamental disagreement” between the two clubs about what a fair deal for Lillard looks like.

As Chiang explains, the reason why there has only been limited communication between Portland and Miami in the last few weeks is because a deal sending Lillard to the Heat only seems possible if one of the two teams decides to deviate from its current plan — in other words, the Blazers would have to accept much less than they want to for Lillard, or the Heat would have to offer more than they currently intend to.

A league source who spoke last week to Portland’s front office was told by the Blazers that a trade sending Lillard to Miami is “unlikely,” according to Chiang. We may find out soon whether that’s true or if it’s simply posturing.

Here’s more on Lillard:

  • Amid rumors that the Raptors appear to be the frontrunners to land Lillard, Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report (Twitter link) is the latest reporter to say that he’s hearing more chatter about Toronto than any other suitor as of late, though he remains wary of how seriously to take that chatter.
  • Whatever a Raptors offer for Lillard looks like, it won’t include 2022 Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, league sources tell Kurt Helin of NBC Sports. Toronto’s front office loves Barnes and hasn’t made him available via trade, according to Helin, who adds, “It’s not that Toronto took him off the table — Barnes was never in the same room as the table.”
  • In his latest update on Lillard, Marc J. Spears of ESPN identified the Bucks, Celtics, Sixers, and Bulls as teams besides Toronto and Miami that have shown interest in Lillard since he asked to be moved. While most of those clubs have been mentioned as potential suitors this offseason, we haven’t heard much about Milwaukee. Based on their current cap situation and trade restrictions, the Bucks would almost certainly have to include Jrue Holiday in any offer for Lillard.
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