The Portland Trail Blazers aren’t ready to see Damian Lillard walk out the door just yet.
Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin told reporters on Monday at the 2023 NBA Summer League that the franchise won’t be rushed into making an unfavorable trade
“We’re going to be patient,” Cronin said. “We’re going to do what’s best for our team. We’re going to see, you know, how this lands. And if it takes months, it takes months.”
Cronin also said that “a deal that makes everyone happy often requires a list of more than one preferred destination,” potentially hinting at the difficulty in appeasing the guard’s trade request.
This news comes after Lillard and his agent Aaron Goodwin have all but explicitly said publicly Lillard only wants to be traded to the Miami Heat.
The seven-time All-Star’s top suitors included the Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics, but according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Lillard’s interest in joining those teams over the Heat are close to zero.
“In those cases, where teams have done their backchannel research to find out what Dame is thinking, whether he wants to play for us, whether it’s the Clippers, whether it’s the Celtics” Charania said on the “Pat McAfee Show.”
“Those are among the two teams I’ve heard that have had a level of interest in Dame Lillard. I think the answer has been a resounding no. He wants to be in Miami, period.”
While Lillard certainly is set on South Beach, Cronin and the rest of Portland’s front office have found it increasingly difficult to find deals that match the value that the 32-year-old provided to the franchise over his 11-year tenure with the squad to send him there.
In the NBA, when a star requests a trade, he usually gets moved, no questions asked.
But this trade, however, may drag on well into the summer season and maybe even further.
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