– The Miami Heat were defeated in five games by the Denver Nuggets in the 2023 NBA Finals and lost a few notable stars during free agency.
– The Toronto Raptors are in position to offer a generous trade package for Damian Lillard and are confident they can outbid the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets for him.
– Even if the Raptors can trade for Lillard, it is uncertain if he wants to play for Toronto and if the Raptors are willing to go all in to acquire him.
The Toronto Raptors are confident they could outbid the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets for Damian Lillard, per @michaelgrange
“By all accounts, the Raptors seem at least reasonably confident they can maneuver their way to the front of the line, past the Miami Heat — Lillard’s…
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral)
The Miami Heat had a disappointing outcome in the 2023 NBA Finals, losing to the Denver Nuggets in five games. To make matters worse, they also lost some key players during free agency. There were high hopes of trading for Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, but it seems like the Toronto Raptors may have the upper hand in offering a trade package for the seven-time All-Star.
Ethan Skolnick, a former CBS Sports NBA writer, revealed insights from a reporter close to Lillard’s agent. According to Skolnick, Lillard would consider Toronto as a potential destination. “Toronto is a place that Dame would make it ugly,” Skolnick said on the “5 on the Floor” podcast. The reporter has a strong relationship with Lillard’s agent, adding credibility to the information.
The Toronto Raptors are confident in their ability to outbid the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets for Lillard’s services. However, it’s not guaranteed that Lillard himself wants to play for Toronto. NBA insider Marc Stein noted that there’s uncertainty about whether the Raptors are truly committed to pursuing Lillard, given the player’s resistance to the idea of joining the team.
If Miami fails to secure a trade for Lillard, it raises the question of whether their offseason can be considered a failure. The team lost Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, and Victor Oladipo. They made several additions and subtractions, including trading Oladipo to the Oklahoma City Thunder and acquiring centers Thomas Bryant and Orlando Robinson, forward Kevin Love, and guard Josh Richardson. They also made a three-team trade involving Max Strus with the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs.
In light of the potential trades and changes, Miami’s fans may have preferred Lillard over Bradley Beal, who had expressed interest in joining the Heat but was ultimately traded to the Phoenix Suns. While the Heat still have star players like Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, their success next season will heavily depend on avoiding injuries, as their depth has been compromised with the departures of Vincent and Strus.