Damian Lillard, after many years of speculation, has finally requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers. Not only did he signal his intention of wanting out from Portland, however, he also made sure to clarify that he prefers to land with the Miami Heat, as he, perhaps, sees himself as the team's missing piece in light of their five-game series defeat against the Denver Nuggets during the 2023 NBA Finals.

Nevertheless, Lillard, unlike Bradley Beal, does not have a no-trade clause. Thus, the Blazers could deal away their franchise star to whichever team they please with the goal of receiving as much of a return as they could. However, Lillard's camp has remained adamant that he only wants to team up with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and land with the Heat.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Damian Lillard's agent, Aaron Goodwin, has reportedly “been calling prospective trade partners” other than the Heat and “warning against trading for his client”. Goodwin added that if any other team than the Heat manages to land Lillard, they'll be landing an “unhappy” version of the Blazers star, which puts into consideration just how well he'll be performing in a prospective new setting.

As Wojnarowski noted, this is a clear leverage play from Lillard's camp to deter the Heat's trade competitors from putting their best foot forward in negotiations for the star point guard. Even then, this pressure from Lillard's agent reportedly won't affect how general managers conduct trade talks because of their belief that the Blazers star, even if he lands on a team other than the Heat, will be willing to give it his all, being a consummate professional.

There's a possibility that these trade talks, given how much of it involve leverage plays from multiple parties, drag out deep into the offseason. The Blazers, after all, won't be content with the measly return they'll be getting in any deal with the Heat, especially in light of recent blockbuster trades. Given how much of a pivotal moment this is in the Blazers' roster-building process, expect them to hold out for the best deal possible, despite the continued assertion of Damian Lillard's camp that he only wants to play for the Heat.