When Damian Lillard first made his trade request to Joe Cronin and the Portland Trail Blazers, he made it clear he wanted to go to the Miami Heat. However, Cronin and the Blazers didn't love what the Heat had to offer if they weren't including one of their stars. There was little movement on the trade front for a while, with things getting contentious and there being little communication between Cronin and Dame's camp.
In early September, Cronin finally met to discuss the situation with Lillard, who didn't like how the situation was being handled and reiterated his desire to go to Miami. However, Cronin made it known that if a trade to the Heat were to happen, it would require “every attractable asset,” per Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes. Lillard realized a trade to Miami was unlikely and then even told Cronin if he couldn't go to Miami, he would like to rescind his trade request and return to Portland.
Cronin refused and told Lillad “there was no coming back,” which upset Lillard as he ended the meeting. These new details of how Cronin handled the trade talks with the Heat and Lillard trying to rescind his trade request upset plenty of people on social media:
For those asking about Holiday, Heat hasn't pursued to this point, while not ruling out. But deplorable behavior by Cronin, as chronicled by Chris Haynes, would make further Heat-Blazers discussions seemingly unappealing if not unrealistic https://t.co/GzrOsN9WX1
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) September 29, 2023
Oh my god.
"Lillard expressed his disappointment with how his situation had been handled, citing his steadfast commitment to the organization over the years. He questioned why there was no dialogue with Miami and expressed how it would be disheartening to be sent somewhere… https://t.co/vHlKJOZlxB
— Hot Hot Hoops (@hothothoops) September 29, 2023
Next time an NBA star is criticized for demanding a trade, he can cite how Blazers treated Lillard. It is indeed a business. Still, not sure this would’ve happened if Paul Allen was alive and in charge. https://t.co/UstKfXZ4nu
— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) September 29, 2023
While plenty of people questioned Cronin's tactics (including, unsurprisingly, many Heat fans), others didn't find an issue with it. Lillard asked for a trade to one team despite not having a no-trade clause and had his agent try to strong-arm other teams into not making offers. That didn't sit well with the Blazers, so they played hardball despite Dame being a franchise legend:
It’s a like a guy telling his wife he wants to leave her. But only for one girl – a super model down in south beach.
When the super model situation doesn’t work out, the dude can’t be shocked that his ex is bitter!!
Can’t expect to come back home like it’s all good lol https://t.co/BngdyioBw3
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) September 29, 2023
Either way, this drama is now over. Lillard is a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, which is a great spot for him and a championship contender. It will be fascinating to see how it plays out.