The Portland Trail Blazers-Damian Lillard trade saga is still as unclear as ever. Although the Miami Heat have long been proposed as a trade partner for the Blazers, it seems that the organization is no closer to moving Lillard than they were when the trade request first made headlines months ago.
Now, it appears that the Heat are making plans for what they will do if they're not able to acquire the multi-time All-Star.
“Kyle Lowry is the only natural point guard on the Heat’s roster, but a person familiar with the team’s thinking said he won’t be surprised if the Heat opts for Tyler Herro or even Josh Richardson as a starting primary ball handler if it’s unable to acquire Lillard before the season opener,” per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Lowry could continue to come off the bench in that scenario.”
Lowry had something of a career renaissance in the 2023 playoffs, one of many Heat players who upped their game tenfold during Miami's shocking run to the NBA Finals.
Tyler Herro, meanwhile, missed essentially the entirety of the magical playoff run, injuring his hand in the first half of Game 1 against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.
While neither Herro nor Lowry comes close to matching the firepower of Damian Lillard, it's worth considering how much different Miami's Finals loss to the Denver Nuggets may have looked had Herro been in the lineup.
In any case, it makes sense that Miami would want to do some “just in case” planning as the season inches closer and closer.