Heat Rumors

Video miami heat trade news

The NBA sent out a memo on Friday to all of the league’s 30 teams regarding Damian Lillard‘s trade request, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter video link via The Rally).

According to Charania, the NBA interviewed the Trail Blazers star and his agent, Aaron Goodwin, about the narrow scope of his trade request and said Lillard may face punishment if further public comments are made about only wanting to end up with the Heat.

Goodwin told two different reporters earlier this month that he had been telling rival teams it would be “futile” to engage in trade talks about his client, given Lillard’s singular focus on playing for Miami.

Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report has a full copy of the league’s memo (Twitter link). The two most noteworthy sections are as follows:

“Goodwin denied stating or indicating to any team that Lillard would refuse to play for them. Goodwin and Lillard affirmed to us that Lillard would fully perform the services called for under his player contract in any trade scenario. The relevant teams provided descriptions of their communications with Goodwin that were mostly, though not entirely, consistent with Goodwin’s statements to us.

“We have advised Goodwin and Lillard that any future comments, made privately to teams or publicly, suggesting Lillard will not fully perform the services called for under his player contract in the event of a trade will subject Lillard to discipline by the NBA. We also have advised the Players Association that any similar comments by players or their agents will be subject to discipline going forward.”

As Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald notes (via Twitter), it’s a little odd that the NBA has taken a harder stance on Lillard’s request given that plenty of other stars have desired to be traded to specific teams over the past handful of years, including Anthony Davis (Lakers), Paul George (Clippers) and Kevin Durant (Suns), among others. Though in fairness, I don’t recall any of those players’ agents discussing the matter publicly.

The NBA could fine Lillard up to $150K if he were to publicly say he wants to be traded to the Heat, tweets Jackson — obviously the veteran has done no such thing to this point.

John Hollinger of The Athletic believes the league is attempting to address its “oversight” of a player requesting a trade to one specific team (Twitter link). The NBA could have negotiated something about it in the new CBA, Hollinger notes, but did not.

Lillard, 33, has spent his entire 11-year career with Portland, the franchise that drafted him sixth overall in 2012. The star guard is coming off arguably his best individual season, averaging a career-high 32.2 points per game on a career-best .645 true shooting percentage.

However, the Blazers went into tank mode down the stretch of 2022/23, going 2-15 over their final 17 games to finish 33-49. Lillard had called upon the front office to build out the roster around him this offseason, but the team was unable to find any suitable deals with the third overall pick (or its young players), ultimately selecting G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson.

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