Celtics Legend Paul Pierce Sees Heat As 'Realistic' Trade Destination For Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard running the Blazers' offense
Gettyimages | Abbie Parr

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard is currently one of the most coveted superstars on the trade market. The Trail Blazers may have said that they have no plan to trade Lillard and undergo a full-scale rebuild but if they won't show him a clear path to title contention this summer, most people believe that it would only be a matter of time before the six-time All-Star follows in the footsteps of other superstars and finds his way out of Portland.

Heat Among Aggressive Suitors Of Damian Lillard On Trade Market

Damian Lillard shooting the ball from the perimeter
Gettyimages | Matthew Stockman

Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, several teams that are in dire need of a backcourt boost and additional star power are expected to express a strong interest in acquiring Lillard from the Trail Blazers, including the Miami Heat. Citing multiple front-office sources, Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer named the Heat as one of the "most aggressive suitors" of Lillard on the trade market this summer.

As other powerhouse teams in the Eastern Conference grow stronger, the Heat must be aware that they need more star power around Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo to have a legitimate chance of reaching the NBA Finals and winning the NBA championship title next year.

Paul Pierce Considers Heat A 'Realistic' Landing Spot For Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard taking a picture with Paul Pierce
Gettyimages | Gabe Ginsberg

In a recent episode of All The Smoke podcast, Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce talked about Lillard and the rumors surrounding his future with the Trail Blazers. Of all his potential suitors, Pierce believes that the Heat would be among the "realistic" trade destinations for Lillard this summer.

"And Miami, the Miami Heat," Pierce said when asked about a good landing spot for Lillard, as quoted by Heat Nation. "I think they got a lot of young pieces. If you don’t get rid of Jimmy Butler, and you can just find a way to keep Bam [Adebayo], try to dangle some of them other little pieces, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, and you can bring Dame in there, I think those two are realistic. I would really look into that.”

Heat Sacrifice Future For Third Star

Tyler Herro taunting fans of opposing team after hitting the game-winner
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

Bringing a player of Lillard's caliber to the Heat would come with a huge price. To convince the Trail Blazers to engage in a blockbuster deal in the 2021 offseason, the Heat must be willing to pay them the king's ransom.

As O'Connor noted in his article, the asking price for Lillard on the trade market is expected to rival or surpass what the Brooklyn Nets gave up to acquire Harden. Aside from Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, the Heat would also have to include at least three first-round picks and four first-round pick swaps in their potential offer for Lillard.

Damian Lillard A Worthy Acquisition For Heat

Damian Lillard saying it's Dame Time
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

Trading Herro, Robinson, and multiple draft assets for Lillard would undeniably be a worthy gamble for the Heat. The successful acquisition of Lillard would tremendously boost the Heat's performance on the offensive end of the floor and upgrade their starting point guard position. He would give them one of the league's best clutch scorers, as well as an incredible playmaker and an elite three-point shooter.

Last season, Lillard averaged 28.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. If Lillard, Butler, and Adebayo mesh well on the court and manage to stay away from any injury, the Heat would form a "Big Three" that could realistically beat any team in a best-of-seven series.