The Damian Lillard-Miami Heat trade has yet to come to fruition. We are almost a month into free agency and many deals and trades have been made. Although this free agency class’ top hitter James Harden has yet to decide on his future, there certainly has been enough drama, fed by the trade market.
From the onset of the 2023 NBA Draft, there have been reports flying about Damian Lillard and his intent to join the Miami Heat but this situation has turned into one of the most complex superstar deals ever seen.
The main narrative surrounding the trade request is GM Joe Cronin’s refusal to do his due diligence on his franchise’s veteran and cornerstone Damian Lillard by sending him to his preferred destination. This has caused outrage among the fans and general community but Cronin seems to be set upon his ways, in the fact that he will only trade Lillard if the return package benefits the Portland Trail Blazers greatly.
Tyler Herro is a part of every trade package for Damian Lillard
Barring Damian Lillard if there is one player who is coming out of this situation in a negative manner, it would have to be the Miami Heat’s young shooting guard Tyler Herro.
Herro has been the main piece that the Heat have dangled in front of the Blazers ever since the start of the trade talks. This has to have been damaging to Herro’s morale and his overall value as a player in the grand scheme of things. There have been a plethora of packages considered for Lillard but three stand out above the rest.
The first would be a deal where Miami lands Lillard and the Blazers get back Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, a 2028 first-round pick, and a 2030 first-round pick. The Heat would be giving up two of their strongest playoff performers but in terms of draft compensation, this deal has much upside for them. This was the original offer Miami went with but they were swiftly rejected.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 1, 2023
The next scenario would see Miami receiving Dame and Jusuf Nurkic, while Portland gets a slightly better payout in receiving the same as above, however, with the added benefit of Kyle Lowry. Lowry would be an apt replacement to play make for the young Blazers’ guns such as Scoot Henderson and Shadeon Sharpe.
The final potential trade would only proceed if the Heat fall into desperation, willing to give up their future for a win-now piece in Damian Lillard. Miami would exchange Tyler Herro, Caleb Martin, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Nikola Jovic, Haywood Highsmith, and the 2 aforementioned first-round picks for Damian Lillard only.
This trade would destroy Miami’s intentions to be relevant in the coming years, but it would bolster their roster to an extent where they would become immediate title favorites.