Woj: Blazers, Lillard ‘fully prepared’ for star to be with team in training camp

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports /

Maybe it’s not a revelation, but at least a bit of relevant news regarding a potential Damian Lillard trade has arrived for the first time in a long time.

Lillard asked the Trail Blazers for a move out of Portland on July 1, and shortly after, made it clear that the Miami Heat were his preferred destination. Miami reportedly made an offer that Portland currently has no interest in, and since then, it’s been mostly radio silence.

With training camp beginning in less than a month, though, talks between the Heat and Blazers may pick up – or the teams could at least begin talking again – and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski’s latest report takes that idea a step further.

Blazers, Lillard ready to continue waiting on trade, possibly into regular season

Woj recently jumped on TV with fellow ESPN NBA reporter Malika Andrews to discuss the Lillard situation as teams head toward training camp and with the regular season less than two months away.

He reiterated Portland General Manager Joe Cronin’s stance – that the franchise is willing to wait things out in hopes of a better offer from the Heat, or possibly an offer from another team.

He dropped another small nugget of information, though – the Blazers are ready to take this thing a few months into the regular season with the hope that something unexpected happens around the NBA and more teams toss their hat into the Dame ring:

"I think this is an organization that’s fully prepared, I think Damian Lillard is also fully prepared, for the possibility that this training camp may start with him in camp, and if you’re the Blazers, you wait and see what happens in the first 20, 25 games of the season to see what direction teams go in. Teams may become interested who aren’t interested now, or teams who are interested may be wiling to give more in trades. And it also gives you the possibility, certainly, to start constructing multi-team deals, which is what a Damian Lillard trade might look like.ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on the Damian Lillard trade situation"

The 20-game mark would take us into December. If a contending team’s point guard suffers a significant injury, for example, or if Miami gets off to a slow start and needs a jolt, better offers could start trickling into Portland.

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Should the Blazers be willing to drag this through training camp, preseason and into the regular season? If they do, how does it affect Scoot Henderson? How does it affect the development of Shaedon Sharpe and the increased role Anfernee Simons is expected to take on this year?

A bunch of questions remain, but it appears clear that, unless something drastic changes in the near future, the 2023-24 season is going to begin with Damian Lillard still a member of the Trail Blazers.