On the Optics of Damian Lillard's Trade Request and the NBA's Warning Memo
Lillard's trade request may be coming too late in the game to land the way he and his representatives hoped.
In the full month since Damian Lillard requested that the Trail Blazers trade him to the Miami Heat, there has been a lot of talk and not much action. A lot of leaks and not much traction on an actual deal, either with the Heat or anyone else. A lot of posturing and not much give from either side. That's the way it's going to stay, until it doesn't.
The memo the NBA league office sent to all 30 teams on Friday about Lillard's request for the Blazers to trade him only to Miami probably isn't going to change much. But it does crystallize why the whole thing is taking as long as it is to play out, and why Lillard might be pushing for this move two years too late to get the public support he and his representatives thought they would.
In recent years, whenever a star of Lillard's stature has requested a trade, the default position of the public has been to take the side of the player. This has been especially true in the case of Lillard, who has seen a multi-year campaign from certain debate-show personalities, practically begging him to do what they felt was best for his career.
So now that Lillard's trade request has been here for a month, why isn't it landing the way he and his representatives hoped?