Woj: Lillard Talks Have Intensified But No Deal Imminent

After multiple reporters suggested on Thursday that the Trail Blazers appear to be increasing their efforts to try to trade Damian Lillard before training camp, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN agreed with that assessment on Friday, saying on NBA Today that Portland is “certainly behaving like a team that wants to get a deal done” before camps get underway (Twitter video link).

Still, according to Wojnarowski, the Blazers have yet to gain serious traction toward an agreement. They continue to have conversations with different clubs and explore various multi-team trade scenarios.

“Those talks have intensified, but still, there’s no trade imminent,” Wojnarowski said.“… You have Portland trying to not only talk to teams who have an interest in Lillard, but lots of teams who’d like to get in on a bigger deal. Can they pick up a couple draft picks to take on some money? Is there a need that they have that they can get in a three- or four-team trade? So Portland is exhausting all of those conversations this week.”

Interestingly, while Miami has been Lillard’s preferred destination and presumed landing spot since he initially requested a trade at the start of July, the Heat haven’t been involved in the Blazers’ conversations this week, according to Wojnarowski. However, he cautions that Miami’s apparent lack of involvement at this point doesn’t necessarily mean that Lillard will be traded elsewhere.

“So far, the one element that has not been a part of these talks are the Miami Heat,” Woj said. “But we know in trade talks and conversations, that could change in one moment with one call.”

The Trail Blazers, as they’ve been trying to do all summer, may simply be attempting to get a serious offer for Lillard from another team to put pressure on the Heat to make a more aggressive offer themselves. Or perhaps the Blazers already have a pretty good sense of what Miami’s best offer for Lillard would look like and are gauging what they could get from a third or fourth team for some of those Heat assets.

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