While talk around the NBA has surfaced that the NBA would step in and veto a possible trade of Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard to the Heat … well, it appears that isn’t the case.
Instead, if the Blazers and Heat are to work out a Lillard deal, NBA commissioner Adam Silver would let it go, a source told Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports. Silver does have veto power, but in this instance, apparently would not exercise it.
Lillard requested a trade, specifically to the Heat, a month ago. The league sent a memo to all 30 teams addressing the matter, saying that NBA officials had a sit-down conversation with Lillard and agent Aaron Goodwin.
Lillard still has four years and $220 million on his contract, and the purpose of the league-issued memo was seemingly to get more teams involved in making offers for Lillard — in light of public comments from Goodwin, who warned teams other than Miami not to try to trade for him.
All of that said, it appears the only thing holding back the Heat from making a trade for Lillard is the Trail Blazers. They reportedly have rebuffed all offers.
The idea of an NBA veto, though, is not playing a role.
“That’s not true, no,” the source told Deveney. “The league wants no more involvement in it, and there is no plan for that.”
As for the memo, it appears that it really did no good. Per Deveney, teams other than Miami that had once contemplated a package for Lillard have been “successfully scared off.”