Damian Lillard and his camp have insisted that his only preferred destination with his trade request is the Miami Heat, as he believes he is the missing piece to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo’s championship puzzle. However, the Portland Trail Blazers aren’t particularly fond of the package the Heat can offer, as other teams can outbid the reigning NBA Finals runner-up when it comes to young prospects and draft assets.
Moreover, the Blazers have made it clear that they do not intend to take on Tyler Herro’s contract when they trade away their franchise star. Herro is due $120 million for the next four years, and they already have a similar player in Anfernee Simons on the roster, so their hesitation on absorbing the 2022 NBA Sixth Man of the Year’s contract is understandable.
Thus, for the Blazers and Heat to agree on any Damian Lillard trade, the involvement of a third team may be necessary to grease the wheels. Given Herro’s talent, there will be no shortage of suitors for the 23-year old combo guard — with the Utah Jazz even emerging as a possible landing spot, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports.
“For the Blazers’ hopes of finding a multi-team package with Miami, there is optimism among league personnel that Portland will find at least a first-round pick from another franchise that’s more keen to welcome Tyler Herro. Although outside of early rumblings about Brooklyn and Chicago, the only team even loosely connected as a Herro suitor has been Utah,” Fischer wrote.
Fischer pointed out as well that the Jazz, as early as last year, have had to entertain the idea of receiving Tyler Herro in the event they traded away Donovan Mitchell. (They eventually traded Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a boatload of picks, Lauri Markkanen, and Collin Sexton.)
But circumstances are different this time around, with the Jazz possibly acquiring Herro for a few first-round picks. Given the Jazz’s surplus of draft assets from their haul during the 2022 offseason, they should have plenty of picks to entice the Blazers in the event of a Damian Lillard trade. Only time will tell, however, if the Blazers do indeed accommodate Lillard’s request and deal him to the Heat.
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