There is no shortage of teams that would love to land Damian Lillard, with Philly, the Clippers and Utah known to be among the many. But the Blazers star wants to go to Miami. So...what will Blazers GM Joe Cronin do?— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 2, 2023
More here, at @TheAthletic https://t.co/sFNeQsT4Lp
From Sam Amick:
The list of teams that have interest in Lillard is predictably long, and it’s known to include Philadelphia, the Clippers and Utah. As Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported, a third team would likely be necessary in a deal with the Heat. Miami would likely send guard Tyler Herro to Portland in a possible Lillard deal, but he makes little sense on a Blazers roster that is loaded with guards and would likely need to be re-routed to another team.
Amick makes it clear that Damian Lillard’s first choice is to join Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in Miami. A lot of this will likely come down to how much the Blazers want to do well by Lillard while also making sure to do what’s best for the franchise. It’s a hard line to walk, considering all the things that would go into a potential trade to Miami. Lillard’s contract alone makes it difficult just because of the size, If the Blazers lean more towards what is best for their franchise, that may mean making a move with a different team.
Adrian Wojnarowski provided more insight into what Joe Cronin and the Blazers are hoping for in their pursuit of a trade.
Front offices talking to Portland today were left with impression that GM Joe Cronin is pursuing a star-level return package for Damian Lillard – and that Cronin plans to look well beyond the Miami Heat to find one. https://t.co/9NWtJN9JLm— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2023
A star-level package can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. Does that mean they want a star back in the trade? Does that mean they want a star-level return like Brooklyn and Utah received for Gobert and Durant? We’ll find out soon, but if it’s the latter the Jazz certainly have the package of assets that could make a move happen.
The Jazz have made statements that seem to match up with what is happening with Portland.
“There may be, (say,) one game changing player that becomes available this summer. But any time there will be a game changing player involved, we’re in the game, we’re in the conversation. You just have to temper it because you can’t rush into bad decisions”— Riley (@rgiss11) April 21, 2023
- Danny Ainge https://t.co/5Y41uq3aop
Based on Amick’s report, Zanik and Ainge are definitely in the conversation and we’ll see what comes of those talks. If the Blazers get to a point where they want a load of draft picks, and the Jazz feel the trade would be worth it, it’s very plausible they could make a trade happen and bring the former Weber State Wildcat back to Utah.