Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Damian Lillard portion of the NBA offseason show. Co-starring the Miami Heat, of course. Because it wouldn't be an offseason rumor if Pat Riley wasn't involved.
He did it with Alonzo Mourning. He did it with Shaquille O'Neal. He did it with LeBron James. He did it most recently with Jimmy Butler. And, if the Heat is to win another title anytime soon, he will do it again.
Riley has formed his superteams in a multitude of ways. Whether it be in free agency, via trade, or via forced trade, big names have always wound up in Miami.
Acquiring Damian Lillard would, arguably, be Riley's greatest feat. It sounds downright impossible looking at the details. Miami simply has little to send Portland's way if the deal doesn't include Bam Adebayo or Jimmy Butler.
Most Heat fans assume Bam is untouchable on the trade market, and they should. Not only because of the potential he brings to the table as a player who turned 24 on Sunday, but because of everything else Miami has on the roster behind him. Which, when it comes to big men, is almost nothing. A team of Jimmy Butler and Damian Lillard, plus what would be left following the trade, would get the Heat nowhere fast. Those are just the facts.
Jimmy & Dame would lose in 5 to Milwaukee. Y’all can laugh now and then cry when Giannis is averaging 45 & 10 vs us. Don’t even need to talk about Brooklyn— Austin (@ChefTrillie_) July 16, 2021
The Heat will likely rely on Lillard pinpointing Miami as his desired destination and forcing Portland to work out a deal that wouldn't be their best, but the best the front office can manage under the circumstances. That would mean Tyler Herro, Precious Achiuwa, KZ Okpala, and multiple first-round picks in return for Lillard. It could also, theoretically, include a sign-and-trade for Duncan Robinson, which would obviously be more complicated.
In the end, Heat fans shouldn't get their hopes up. Not unless they're prepared to watch the Heat trade away Bam Adebayo. There are too many teams that have too much more to offer the Trailblazers in a deal for Lillard, even if he does force his way out of Portland.
Damian Lillard next team if traded— SportsBetting.ag (@SportsBettingAG) July 18, 2021
New York Knicks +150
Philadelphia 76ers +225
Golden State Warriors +600
Miami Heat +650
Los Angeles Clippers +750
Los Angeles Lakers +750
Boston Celtics +900
Dallas Mavericks +900
Toronto Raptors +1200
That being said, as insane as it may seem, stay tuned. We've seen Pat Riley accomplish crazier far-fetched deals before.