Earlier this month, Damian Lillard decided that he was ready to move out of Portland. Lillard requested a trade and the team has been working to “accommodate” him. Since then, multiple reports have shown that the 7-time All-Star will only play on the Miami Heat in 2023-24. The NBA has responded with an unhappy memo.
According to the memo, Lillard or his agent, Aaron Goodwin, could face discipline from the league if they made any further comments on exclusively targeting one team for a potential trade.
“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,” the memo, obtained by Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, states.
Due to the reports, the NBA conducted interviews with both Goodwin and Lillard.
“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.”
The memo put out by the NBA stated that Lillard and Goodwin were encouraged not to make remarks suggesting the star would refuse to “fully perform the services called for under his player contract in the event of a trade.”
“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,” the memo said. “We also have advised the Players Association that any similar comments by players or their agents will be subject to discipline going forward.”
No deal has come close between the Heat and Trail Blazers to date, with the Blazers reportedly not wanting Tyler Herro. A third team has been in the mix to land the four-year guard.
The 33-year-old Lillard has two years left on his contract currently with the Blazers, it does not contain a no-trade clause. So, ideally, Portland could ship Lillard to wherever the best deal comes from. Though, a trade may take some time as the Blazers highly value Damian Lillard and his commitment to the team over the years.
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