The Miami Heat and team president Pat Riley are determined to get another superstar to become a title contender again. They have failed in their recent attempts, but Riley is not expected to stop pursuing his targets.
And if the Heat want to become a contender or even just get closer to becoming one, Sir Charles in Charge’s Michael Saenz proposed a blockbuster trade. In the proposed deal, the Heat will form a new core centered on Hassan Whiteside and superstar point guard Damian Lillard.
Saenz suggested the Heat should break the bank to acquire Lillard, knowing that getting a superstar of Lillard’s caliber is easier said than done. The Heat will have to surrender a combination of players ready to contribute immediately, prospects, and future draft picks.
In the proposed deal, the Heat will only get Lillard from Portland. In turn, they will give up All-Star point guard Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo, their 2019 first-round pick and a 2022 second-round pick.
Saenz pointed out that while Miami will lose a lot in the deal, acquiring Lillard to pair with Whiteside is a big step toward reaching elite status again. He added that it will put the Heat in a good position to attract big-name free agents in the future after failing to convince their top targets last summer.
On the other hand, trading Lillard will initially look like a step backward for Portland. However, the young prospects and picks they will get could help them rebuild the team quickly around C.J. McCollum. The fifth-year guard has developed into one of the best scorers in the league and is averaging 22.0 points and 4.0 rebounds this season.
It could also turn out to be a wise move for Portland, considering the rumors about a possible trade demand from Lillard. ESPN’s Chris Haynes revealed last week that Lillard arranged a meeting with team owner Paul Allen to discuss the direction of the Trail Blazers.
Lillard did not make a trade request, but the 27-year-old old superstar told Allen that he wants to win a title in his prime. Whether it will be in Portland or in another team will remain a question until the Trail Blazers decide on the direction they want to go to.
Lillard is playing in the second season of his five-year, $139.89 million contract. The three-time All-Star is averaging 25.2 points on top of 6.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game this season.