The entire summer of 2023 has been hijacked by disgruntled Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard. Lillard requested a trade from the Trail Blazers back in July and it’s been a foregone conclusion that he’ll be traded to the Miami Heat — because he really wants to be. It’s even been reported that he’d request a second trade if dealt to any other franchise, including the Denver Nuggets.
According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang, that’s the expectation.
“If Lillard is traded to a team other than Miami, he is expected to ask to be traded to the Heat,” the pair wrote on Wednesday.
This has gotten to an all-time ridiculous level now, hasn’t it?
Listen, teams shouldn’t be the only ones with power — I get it — but it’s also not okay for Lillard to completely handcuff the Trail Blazers as they continue to try and find a reasonable return for him.
Portland signed the 33-year-old to a two-year $122 million contract extension last summer, which will kick in after his current deal, meaning he’ll be getting paid through the end of the 2026-27 season when he’s 37 years old. If ensuring that Lillard is financially secure through what will likely be the end of his playing career isn’t enough to be fair, I’m not sure what is.
Sure, give Portland a few teams you’d prefer to be dealt to. But, don’t limit them to where they can actually trade you.
The Denver Nuggets wouldn’t trade for Damian Lillard anyway
Fortunately for Nuggets fans, the team has no reason to chase after a Lillard trade. Denver’s point guard spot is taken by Jamal Murray, who is coming off of a great display in the playoffs.
If he’s able to carry over that momentum to the upcoming season then he could be poised for his first-ever All-Star selection.
Even without taking Murray into account, the Nuggets just won the NBA title. There’s really no reason for them to go out and make a blockbuster deal to shake up the roster.