Damian Lillard really wants the Heat. And the Heat really want Lillard — but perhaps not at all costs.
At least, that’s the way it seems to look right now, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
For now, Lillard remains with the Trail Blazers, and training camp is about a week away. Miami is definitely interested, as are several others — such as the Bulls (full post) and Raptors (full post).
So the Heat may have some competition, and again, they seem to be fine with that.
“This is one thing I think that maybe has been miscast from the start: I don’t think the Heat are desperate at all to trade for Damian Lillard,” Windhorst said on ESPN, via Marc Stein of The Stein Line. “I think they want to trade for him, but I don’t think it’s something that, if they don’t get it done, wrecks their season.
“… I know there’s a tremendous desire from the Heat’s fan base to acquire Dame Lillard because it looks like a player with his skill set is the missing piece toward getting a championship. But I don’t think the Heat has ever approached it like it’s the be-all, end-all. I don’t think the Heat and Blazers have been engaged in talks at almost any level in quite some time. There has been a misjudgment in the way it’s all viewed — that this is something that the Heat have absolutely got to get done. I don’t think they view it that way.”
In other words, the Heat are very much prepared to at least enter the season with Lillard either in Portland, or some other destination. He has made it clear he wants to play for the Heat, and only the Heat. All Miami really has to do is sit back and wait for it to potentially happen. No need to force anything just yet, basically.