Sources: Damian Lillard requests trade from Portland, specifically to Miami

Written by Shams Charania, William Guillory, and Jason Quick

League sources said Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has asked to be released from Portland the athlete on saturday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Trail Blazers have been informed that Lillard wants a special deal for the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat, according to multiple league sources.
  • The seven-time All-Star is coming off the most productive offensive season of his career. In 2022-23, he finished with career highs in points per game (32.2), field goal percentage (46.3), 3 made (4.2) and attempted (11.3) per game, and free throw attempts per game (9.6).
  • Portland also has a replacement ready for Lillard with Scoot Henderson No. 3 pick for 2023.

the athleteInstant Analysis:

Why Lillard would be a perfect fit for Miami

Now that Lillard has finally demanded out of Portland, the Heat are on their way to being the biggest winners of the season. Lillard appears to prefer a move to Miami, and his arrival will likely make the Heat the favorite to repeat as Eastern Conference champions. Lillard, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo are arguably the top 3 players in the NBA, and all of their skills complement each other.

Lillard would also provide a boost for the Heat’s offense, which hit key roadblocks at certain points last season. The Heat should do whatever it takes to pull this off, even if it includes shipping from Tyler Herro and future first-round picks in 2028 and 2030. Lillard’s arrival would extend the title window in Miami and Lillard’s new ambassador for “Heat Culture” sounds like a match made in heaven. – Guillory

Why is Lillard leaving Portland now?

A day of shame in Portland, but he’s been brewing behind the scenes for three summers. As much as Lillard tried to appease fans by constantly saying he wanted to stay in Portland, behind the scenes, Lillard and his agent would constantly threaten the Blazers that he would leave if the roster wasn’t upgraded. Lillard’s big problem was that Blazers management wasn’t convinced they were trying or caring about winning as much as he did, at one point filming a scene in which he had trouble sleeping after the Blazers were eliminated by Denver in the 2021 playoffs.

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This brings us to the day when, despite the change of general managers two seasons ago, and despite Joe Cronin’s promises to make moves in winning fashion now, Lillard sees the Blazers as never being closer to being competitive, and in fact is spending more time preparing for life without him. from him. – fast

Go deeper

Hollinger: With Damian Lillard, the Blazers have waited a long time. Here are four possible deals

What’s next for Blazer?

Before we get to what return the Blazers will have, the immediate impact on the roster is that Henderson will likely start at the point guard and get his chance to make a full impact during his rookie season. Also, guard Anfernee Simons will move from the trading block to relying on being the Blazers’ leading scorer.

Simmons is coming off a dynamic season when he averaged 21.1 points while hitting 37.7 percent in 3s. As he did with Lillard, Simons also still stands as the backup point guard where the roster sits today. As much as this stings for Blazers fans the loss of the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, it’s also one of the most promising and exciting times the franchise has had since Lillard burst onto the scene and won Rookie of the Year honors in 2012.

The Blazers will cruise forward with a young core that makes them the league’s darling to NBA fans: Henderson at point guard, Simmons at shooting guard, Shaydon Sharpe at small forward and Jeremy Grant at power forward. Jusuf Nurkić is in the center and is under contract for another three seasons, but I would expect the Blazers to move on from Nurkić, whose main value was his chemistry with Lillard. – fast

the background

Several reports, including one Athletic Sam Amick, of Miami was Lillard’s top pick. He even admitted it himself While recording a podcast with Showtime a few weeks ago.

“Miami is the obvious choice,” Lillard said. “And Pam is my husband, really.”

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(Photo: Eric Hartline/USA Today)

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