Heat’s Jimmy Butler Sounds Off On Bucks Trading For Damian Lillard

Miami Heat, Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks, Jimmy Butler, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler told Taylor Rooks of NBATV that he’s happy for Damian Lillard, who was traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Milwaukee Bucks despite requesting a trade to the Heat.

However, Butler believes he and the Heat are going to beat the Bucks when it matters most.

The Heat lost to the Denver Nuggets in the 2023 NBA Finals in five games. Lillard requested a trade from the Blazers on July 1, but Miami felt it never had a legitimate opportunity to negotiate a Lillard trade with Portland, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jimmy Butler, Damian Lillard, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, relayed to teams that Lillard would not be content if Portland traded him to a team other than Miami. The Blazers felt they were being pressured into what they deemed to be an unfavorable starting point in negotiations. The NBA stepped in and warned Goodwin that Lillard could be “subject to discipline” if Lillard’s camp continued to disrupt quality offers Portland could field.

The Heat believe they could have included a third team and netted the Blazers up to three first-round picks with the inclusion of Tyler Herro. However, Portland wasn’t interested in doing business with Miami.

It appears based on Haynes’ report that the Blazers never wanted to trade Lillard to the Heat. Portland ceased all communication with Lillard and Goodwin in early September. The Blazers’ rationale for keeping them in the dark was to prevent Goodwin from getting involved in potential deals behind the scenes. For approximately three weeks, calls and texts to Portland from Lillard and Goodwin went unanswered.

After failing to acquire Lillard, the Heat tried to trade for Jrue Holiday, who was traded by the Bucks to the Blazers. However, the Boston Celtics got Holiday.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jimmy Butler, Damian Lillard, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

The Heat are expected to start Kyle Lowry, Herro, Butler, Kevin Love and Bam Adebayo this season. It will be intriguing to see if Butler is able to lead the Heat to the promised land. Miami hasn’t won a championship since 2013.

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