The NBA tells all 30 teams about Damian Lillard’s Trade request, and the Heat responds

The NBA tells all 30 teams about Damian Lillard's move request, and the Heat responds

Damian Lillard has asked to be trade away from the Portland Trail Blazers, and his agent has made it clear that he only wants to go to the Miami Heat. Shams Charania of The Athletic says that the NBA sent a letter to all 30 teams about this stance and some recent news stories about it. 

The memo made it clear that if Damian Lillard or his lawyer Aaron Goodwin said anything else, the league could punish them. It also said that if other people behaved the same way in the future, they could also be punished. 

Damian Lillard’s Trade Request: The NBA’s Perspective and Ongoing Negotiations

From Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, here is the full memo: 

“Recent news stories said that Damian Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, called several NBA teams to tell them not to trade for Lillard because Lillard only wants to go to Miami in a deal. Goodwin also said in public that if Lillard were trade to another team, he wouldn’t be able to do everything in his player contract.    

We talked to Goodwin and Lillard, and we also talked to a few NBA teams that Goodwin had talked to. Goodwin said he never told or told anyone that Lillard wouldn’t play for them. Goodwin and Lillard told us that Lillard would do everything his player contract called for in any trade situation. The appropriate teams gave us descriptions of how they talked to Goodwin that mostly, but not completely, matched what Goodwin had told us.    

We told Goodwin and Lillard that if Lillard says or does anything else, in private or in public, that makes it sound like he won’t do everything his player contract says he will do if he gets traded, the NBA will punish him. We also told the Players Association that players or their agents who make similar comments in the future will be punished.”

Even though Damian Lillard asked to be traded almost a month ago, it looks like a deal is still ongoing. In the end, the Blazers have full control over the situation because Damian Lillard’s current deal has three years left, plus a player option, and he doesn’t have a no-trade clause. So, Portland Trail Blazers could send Damian Lillard anywhere they want. It doesn’t have to be Miami.

At the same time, Lillard is the best player the team has ever had, and he’s been a huge part of the team for more than a decade, so there’s some desire on the team’s part to do what he wants. But in the end, the Miami Heat might not be able to give the star guard the best deal, and Lillard might have to be willing to settle for less. 

How things go from here will be very interesting to watch. In the meantime, the league has made it clear that it doesn’t want to hear any more talk from Lillard or his lawyer about how he wants to be trade to Miami. 

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