Grade the trades: 3-team ideas to get Damian Lillard from Blazers to Heat

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Raptors could be a landing spot for Tyler Herro in a three-team Damian Lillard trade with the Heat.
Gary Trent Jr. (center), Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Three-team trade No. 1: Lillard to the Heat, Herro to the Toronto Raptors

This trade isn’t the most ideal scenario for the Blazers, but it gets the franchise’s most beloved player where he wants to go and the Raptors get a backcourt player who can score and run the show at times after the loss of Fred VanVleet to the Houston Rockets.

Toronto re-signed guard Gary Trent Jr. and added Dennis Schroder in free agency, but Herro brings a different element to a team holding onto OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam, assumedly with the intention to remain a competitor in the Eastern Conference. For their troubles, the Raptors unload three contracts and pick up two additional second-round picks.

Miami gets Lillard; that part of the deal is self-explanatory.

Now, for why the Blazers would be interested in making this trade:

  • Young and Porter Jr. are on expiring contracts. Portland would clear more than $14 million in cap space after this season.
  • Jovic and Jaquez Jr. are Miami’s only attractive young players.
  • The Blazers extract every possible asset the Heat have with two first-rounders and a pair of pick swaps in addition to two prospects.
  • Boucher has two years left on his current contract. He’s only owed $11.8 million this year and $10.8 million in 2024-25. He would be a useful player for Portland to keep around as a decent stretch big with defensive versatility who could be part of what’s currently a thin frontcourt rotation.

This deal brings back a decent package of assets that could help Portland move a rebuild forward while helping Lillard get his wish. It’s not ideal for the Blazers, but it’s not the worst possible package either if a third team needs to be involved.