Wednesday September 27 — 11:00am ET
This week the NBA news mill has been ALL Damian Lillard ALL the time. With Media Day and then training camp just days away, it seems like now is the time for the Portland Trail Blazers to finally give Dame what he wants and move him. Yet, they are only gonna do so when the price is right.
While Toronto has been a looming possibility as a trade destination for Lillard all summer, it was only Monday morning when talks really seemed to be heating up. Marc Stein reported here that Toronto seemed to be high in the running to make a trade happen.
Despite the fact that Lillard himself explicitly said he only wants to be traded to the Miami Heat, it seems that Portland has been picking up the phone when anyone else has called — and actually listening.
Monday and into Tuesday it was reported that Toronto’s hopes of landing the All-Star were gaining traction as their offer for Dame was much better than anything Miami could offer. Paired with the fact that Miami stated they would not “be desperate” in their pursuit for Damian Lillard, and Toronto fans were getting excited.
Still, no official news dropped.
Two ‘really high ranking’ team executives believes the Toronto Raptors are the ‘frontrunners’ for Damian Lillard, per @MarcJSpears— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) September 25, 2023
“They wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up in the 6ix” pic.twitter.com/MMxAeeGRw4
Now, there was definitely possibility that Toronto was being used at leverage to get Miami to offer more for Lillard. Miami has seemed reluctant to include every asset available to them in order to get Dame over in Miami, and it is definitely possible Portland was humouring Toronto and letting the internet run with it in order to make the Heat budge.
The Heat are not interested in offering all seven of their assets for Damian Lillard, per @flasportsbuzz.— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) September 26, 2023
Those assets include:
- Three first-round picks
- Tyler Herro
- Nikola Jovic
- Caleb Martin
- Jaime Jaquez Jr.
“The Heat isn’t believed to be offering even close to all… pic.twitter.com/SamKrv61V5
Still, Toronto fans ran with it. Even making people like Stephen A Smith comment on it — and he slammed Toronto for “wasting Damian Lillard’s time” saying that trade for Dame would not launch Toronto into championship contention, and therefore was a waste of time.
Stephen A. Smith slams the Raptors for wasting Damian Lillard’s time— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) September 26, 2023
“He wants to be in a position where he can compete for a championship. If Toronto is an option, why not stay the hell in Portland. It’s a waste of time to even think of going to the Toronto Raptors”
NOW the update on Wednesday morning is that Damian may be going to Miami after all. Sportsnet’s Michael Grange — who about a day ago reported Toronto was high in the running to trade with the Trail Blazers — tweeted out this morning that it seems Dame will probably go to Miami anyway.
FWIW - growing consensus from around league that Miami will indeed be destination for Dame. We’ll see.— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) September 27, 2023
Yet, as we say in NBA land, it’s not over until the Woj sings... (no one has ever said that haha)
Until we get official word that a trade has gone through, anything can happen. Stay tuned to this thread for updates as they become available.