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Portland reportedly puts together trade offer for Miami’s Bam Adebayo. Good luck with that.


MIAMI, FL - JUNE 7: Bam Adebayo (13) of the Miami Heat looks up in the fourth quarter of the Denver Nuggets’ 104-94 win during Game 3 of the NBA Finals at the Kaseya Center in Miami on Wednesday, June 7, 2023. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

Denver Post via Getty Images

There’s been a lot of NBA Draft week trade speculation about the two NBA teams geographically farthest apart: The Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat. Most of it has focused on Miami hoping things play out this way: The Trail Blazers can’t trade the No. 3 pick in the Draft for another star, use the pick to select Scoot Henderson/Brandon Miller, and a frustrated Lillard talks with Portland’s brass about it being time to move on. That’s the dream in Miami.

Portland’s dream is to trade for Bam Adebayo to put next to Lillard, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

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...

He and Lillard played together for Team USA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and have developed a close friendship, but the Heat have primarily searched to supplement Adebayo in recent transaction cycles, sources said, and have not pondered a future without him starring in the frontcourt.

Joe Cronin and Portland, good luck with that.

Never say never to any trade in the NBA because we’ve seen some stuff. But this is the definition of the NBA’s silly season. This sounds like a counter, a “you think we want to trade Lillard, well...” reaction.

To be clear, sources NBC Sports has spoken to about the Heat over the past years have Miami looking more at how they transition from the Jimmy Butler/Adebayo era — which has gone to the NBA Finals two of the past four seasons — to Adebayo and whatever is next. It’s about finding another star and evolving the Heat, but with Adebayo a core part of that future. There is never talk about trading him.

Would the Heat trade Adebayo? Sure, for Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokić. There are a few others of that level. But for any package the Trail Blazers can put together? Not so much. The goal is to pair Adebayo and Lillard (and Butler), not trade them for each other, and the No. 3 pick and even the other gems of the Trail Blazers — Shaedon Sharpe — is not going to get it done.

As for the Miami dream of Portland trading Lillard, it’s less ridiculous but not as close to reality as Heat Nation hopes. If Portland ends up not finding a trade and having to make a pick at No. 3, they will then re-sign Jerami Grant and spend the rest of the summer looking for a trade for another star — and this is shaping up to be a wild offseason of moves. Suppose it gets to the point Lillard wants to sit down with the front office and talk about the future because this team doesn’t look much different from a season ago. In that case, the Trail Blazers will likely respond with something like, “start the season with us, give us a chance, we’ll keep looking and let’s see how this team shakes out in a relatively open West (behind Denver, anyway), and if we’re nearing the deadline and we’re not looking like a playoff team, we’ll work with you.”

It’s not that Portland doesn’t want to trade Lillard (although it doesn’t), it’s that Lillard doesn’t want to leave Portland. It would be his last resort. He wants this to work and will give the Trail Blazers every chance. Plus, since Lillard does not have the Bradley Beal no-trade clause, so Lillard does not have total control over where he lands. Portland will not ship him off to NBA Siberia, but the Blazers can take the best deal offered rather than the one Lillard chooses. He’s not automatically landing in Miami or Brooklyn as he might wish.

Bottom line, don’t be so sure the Heat and Trail Blazers are close to doing business. On any trade. But especially not one for Adebayo.