All summer, ex-Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard made it clear he wanted to be traded to the Heat. In fact, he basically demanded it.
But once Lillard learned in early September that the Blazers and Heat couldn’t work out a deal, he asked if he could just remain in Portland, per Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report/TNT.
Blazers GM Joe Cronin, however, said no. The Blazers had decided to move on — and per Haynes, Lillard was stunned. He eventually was traded to the Bucks as part of a three-team deal with the Suns.
Even so, Lillard went into the Blazers’ practice facility to put in some work. He told Haynes that Cronin did not address him once during that time.
“I went into the facility because I was still on the roster and usually that time of the year is when team activities start to pick up as a group,” Lillard said. “I wasn’t confident I would be moved so I showed up to be in the mix.”
Once it became clear that Lillard wouldn’t remain with the Blazers nor be traded to the Heat, he met with agent Aaron Goodwin to come up with a contingency plan. That so-called wish list included the Bucks and Nets, Haynes reported.