LAS VEGAS (AP) — Damian Lillard wants to be traded to the Miami Heat. The Portland Trail Blazers know this yet haven’t abandoned hope that the seven-time All-Star changes his mind.
And whether he does or not, the Blazers insist that they’re in no hurry.
General manager Joe Cronin, at the news conference where the team formally unveiled its new five-year, $160 million contract with Jerami Grant, spoke at length about the impasse with Lillard. He offered no specifics on talks — not negotiating publicly — and revealed that he hasn’t spoken with Lillard since the franchise cornerstone asked to be traded.
“We’re going to be patient,” Cronin said. “We’re going to do what’s best for our team. We’re going to see, you know, how this lands. And if it takes months, it takes months.”
Lillard’s trade request became publicly known on July 1, the first full day of free agency in the NBA. After the Blazers revealed that Lillard — who has spent all 11 of his pro seasons in Portland — asked out, agent Aaron Goodwin confirmed days later that the seven-time All-NBA selection wants to go to Miami.
“Dame’s position won’t change,” Goodwin told The Associated Press last week. “This entire situation was about building an opportunity for Portland to win or giving him another opportunity that he wants, which is Miami.”
Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press