NBA free agency 2023: Damian Lillard's agent reportedly cautioning teams from trading for star guard

The seemingly amicable end of Damian Lillard's time with the Portland Trail Blazers won't be rushed. Nor does it seem like it will be catered toward Lillard's wishes.

General manager Joe Cronin will reportedly listen to any and all offers from teams interested in acquiring the seven-time All-Star, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, and won't consider only Lillard's desired destination of the Miami Heat. At the same time, Lillard's agent, Aaron Goodwin, is reportedly cautioning prospective teams from trading for the star guard because he will be happy only in Miami.

OK, so perhaps this divorce has teetered into a hostile zone.

In response to this report, Goodwin told the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, "I do what I should for my client. Some teams I did call. Other teams have called me. It's a respectful relationship with most teams. Truthfully, he wants to play in Miami. Period."

Damian Lillard can only wait until his fate is decided for him. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard can only wait until his fate is decided for him. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Lillard's presence on the Heat would make a lot of sense and likely be a lot of fun to watch. However, it takes two to tango, and it doesn't seem like the Trail Blazers will give Lillard away for nothing.

The Heat reportedly don't have the most appealing offer on the table for Lillard, though. As Wojnarowski continued in his piece, the best Miami can give up are first-round picks in 2028 and 2030, five first-round pick swaps and their two most recent first-round players (Nikola Jović and Jaime Jaquez Jr.). Guard Tyler Herro appeared to be a part of a package as well, but multiple reports indicate Portland doesn't want him and it would take a third team interested in Herro to facilitate a trade.

This is the crossroads, and it's likely the main reason Goodwin is playing interference to force the Trail Blazers' hands. If enough teams drop out of the running for Lillard — either because they can't meet Portland's demands or they believe Lillard won't play for them — it will narrow his market to where the Heat will either be the best or only option on the table.

So what happens next remains entirely on Cronin and the Trail Blazers. Goodwin later told ESPN's Marc Spears that he's hopeful a deal can come together between Portland and Miami during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas this week, but that timetable isn't steadfast. Wojnarowski believes this process could last into August while Cronin collects as much information and as many offers as possible.

Meanwhile, Lillard awaits his fate.

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