Rumors continue to swirl around the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft, the latest of which would bring a Miami Heat star to Rip City.
Recent gossip surrounding Portland and Miami has concerned the Heat trying to pry Damian Lillard away from the Blazers, but any scenario in which Lillard leaves Portland seems unlikely with a little more than 48 hours to go until the draft.
Portland’s – and Lillard’s – desire has been for the superstar to remain with the Blazers but for the team to use its No. 3 pick to acquire a veteran star who can help the team win this year. Is there a real chance that may actually come to fruition?
Blazers reportedly building a package to bring Heat star Bam Adebayo to Portland
According to Yahoo!Sports insider Jake Fischer, general manager Joe Cronin and the Trail Blazers front office are attempting to pry Miami star center Bam Adebayo from the Heat.
"Portland appears unlikely to part with the No. 3 choice unless the Blazers are netting back one of a select number of premium targets to pair with Lillard. According to one source with knowledge of the situation, Portland is preparing what the team believes to be a compelling package for Miami to part with All-Defensive centerpiece Bam Adebayo."
Fischer also added, however, that the Blazers are “strongly valuing” the third pick in any trade discussions.
Adding Adebayo would undoubtedly improve Portland’s defense, which has been porous for years. The 25-year-old center has helped Miami reach two NBA Finals during his first six seasons in the league.
Miami’s price tag on Adebayo is understandably high, per Fischer:
"Miami brass seems very unlikely to consider any Portland overture that doesn’t include standout rookie Shaedon Sharpe, in addition to a package of the No. 3 pick and Anfernee Simons that the Blazers, sources said, have made available in discussions with other teams."
If the Heat won’t accept a deal that doesn’t include Sharpe – last year’s No. 7 pick who showed legitimate star potential at the end of last season – talks may quickly reach a standstill as Portland has deemed Sharpe untouchable in trade talks this summer.
Miami demanding the third overall pick from the Blazers could potentially be another sticking point in discussions.