Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Friday that trade talks for Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard have “intensified” but no deal is imminent. Wojnarowski also said the Heat — Lillard’s preferred landing spot — haven’t been involved in recent trade talks with Portland, though he did caution that could change at a moment’s notice.
In addition to confirming Wojnarowski’s report, his ESPN colleague Brian Windhorst says Miami hasn’t been acting like a team that’s prepared to go all-in to land Lillard.
“I don’t think the Heat are desperate at all to trade for Damian Lillard,” Windhorst said on NBA Today (YouTube link). “I think they want to trade for him, but I don’t think that it’s something that if they don’t get it done that it wrecks their season.
“They were in the Finals last year. They have young players that are getting better. They have assets that they can trade for other deals. And as we talked about earlier on the show, Dame Lillard isn’t potentially the only star player that could be on the market. Maybe not today, but certainly in the next six-to-12-to-18 months.
“I don’t think the Heat have ever approached it like it’s the be-all, end-all,” Windhorst added. “… Like Woj reported, and I have heard the same thing … I don’t think that the Heat and the Trail Blazers have been engaged in talks at all, on almost any level, for quite some time.
“That could change very quickly. Dame Lillard could be a member of the Heat in the short-term future. But I think that there has been a misjudgment in sort of the way it’s all viewed, that this is something that the Heat have absolutely got to get done, and I just don’t think they view it that way.”
For what it’s worth, when Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link) sent Windhorst’s explanation of the Heat’s thinking to an “involved source,” Jackson was told that it was “100 percent right.”