The conventional wisdom from league sources has been that as we get closer to the start of training camp on Oct. 2, Damian Lillard trade talks will start to gain traction. Miami will up its offer, a third team will be found for Tyler Herro, and Portland will bring its asking price down some and a deal will be struck. It’s a very different vibe than all things James Harden, Lillard isn’t trying to be a distraction.
However, the longer this drags out, the greater the possibility a third team jumps into the mix. For example, Marc Spears reports Jayson Tatum tried to recruit Lillard to Boston, something Spears said speaking with the Oregonian’s Bill Oram on the Sports by Northwest podcast. (Hat tip Hoopshype)
“He’s kind of got that kind of like military basketball mentality. He wants to work. Also, the stability of the organization, the winning, like they’ve been to the Finals what, seven times since 2006? Obviously, Bam [Adebayo] and Jimmy [Butler] helps, no State tax helps, sunshine helps. And I think at 33 years old, he looks at the landscape of the West and it’s like ‘mmm… I think my chances are better to go out East, and if Miami is able to make the Finals without somebody like myself, what can they do with me?’ So you don’t make that move unless it’s certainly a calculated risk. And I know that Boston, I know Jayson Tatum has called him, try to get in his ear, but his focus is definitely on Miami.”
For the record, a Lillard trade to Boston was always a long shot. Portland would have asked for Jaylen Brown before he signed his extension, Boston instead might have offered some combination of multiple first-round picks plus Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III and Payton Pritchard. None of that seems likely.
Spears also said he expects a deal to get done between the Trail Blazers and the Heat.
the trade everyone expects to get done. It’s what Lillard wants and superstar players usually get their way, it’s what the Heat wants, and Portland doesn’t want the distraction and media circus that would be Lillard in its training camp as the Trail Blazers try to transition to the Scoot Henderson era. Everybody has to compromise a little, but a trade is possible.
Just know other teams are lurking, and if things drag out… maybe Tatum lobs another call.