NBA sends memo to all 30 teams about Damian Lillard’s possible trade to Miami Heat. What did it say?
The Blazers star wants a trade to the Heat and they’d like him to come. The problem is the NBA doesn’t like how it’s playing out and they’ve made that clear.
With the league’s regulations explicitly clear about how players and their representation can speak about potential trades, it would appear that the want-away star as well as his agent may have crossed a line. If that turns out to be the case, his proposed move down south could well be in jeopardy.
NBA sends a memo to all teams about Damian Lillard
If you’ve been following, then you know that Damian Lillard has requested a trade away from the Portland Trail Blazers, and moreover has made it clear that he only wants to move to the Miami Heat. While that seems all well and good, some of what we’ve seen reported about the scenario - even on this very website - suggests that not everything has been handled above board. Indeed, the uncertainty around what is appropriate and what is not has now resulted in the NBA itself sending a memo to all 30 teams.
According to reports, the memo states that further comments from Lillard or his agent, Aaron Goodwin, could in fact result in some form of sanction. Further to that, the league also stated that any similar behavior from players going forward could result in the same. See the memo below:
“Recent media reports stated that Damian Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, called multiple NBA teams to warn them against trading for Lillard because Lillard’s only desired trade destination is Miami. Goodwin also made public comments indicating that Lillard would not fully perform the services called for under his player contract if traded to another team. We interviewed Goodwin and Lillard and also spoke with several NBA teams to whom Goodwin spoke. Goodwin denied stating or indicating to any team that Lillard would refuse to play for them. Goodwin and Lillard affirmed to us that Lillard would fully perform the services called for under his player contract in any trade scenario. The relevant teams provided descriptions of their communications with Goodwin that were mostly, though not entirely, consistent with Goodwin’s statements to us. We have advised Goodwin and Lillard that any future comments, made privately to teams or publicly, suggesting Lillard will not fully perform the services called for under his player contract in the event of a trade will subject Lillard to discipline by the NBA. We also have advised the Players Association that any similar comments by players or their agents will be subject to discipline going forward.”
So what happens now with Damian Lillard?
Truth be told, that’s anyone’s guess. It’s been almost a month since Lillard requested a trade and quite frankly there’s been no further movement. While we’ve seen reports of what a package might look like if the Heat were to finally make the move, nothing’s been set in stone. At this point, it’s the Blazers who hold all the cards. To be clear, Lillard has another three years remaining on his contract, as well as a player option. Further to that, he has a no-trade clause. What that means, is that there is the possibility that the Blazers simply send him where ever they like, not just Miami.
On the other hand, we’re talking about arguably the franchise’s best player ever i.e., it’s hard to imagine that the Blazers wouldn’t try to meet in the middle with a guy who has given them so much over the last decade. Of course, we’ve also got to factor in the Heat, who may not even be capable of offering what the Blazers want. If that proves to be the case, then who knows how this ends. Ultimately, things are just starting to heat up so keep an eye on this one because the league certainly will be as well.