Damian Lillard Requests Trade, Lakers Secure Austin Reaves

Damian Lillard
( source: NBA )
The NBA transfer market is heating up as we enter July 1, 2023. Point guard Damian Lillard has reportedly made the decision to leave the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard is no longer content and desires to experience winning an NBA championship.

Having spent 11 years with the Blazers, Damian Lillard is frustrated by their inability to seriously contend for an NBA title. Last season, the Blazers failed to qualify for the NBA playoffs.

Renowned NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed on Saturday, July 1, 2023, that Lillard has requested the Blazers to trade him during the summer of 2023. Lillard wants to join a team with a significant chance of becoming NBA champions.

There are five teams interested in acquiring Lillard's services, including the LA Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, and San Antonio Spurs. Among these suitors, the Heat are at the forefront of securing Lillard.

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According to David Aldridge, Lillard prefers to move to the Heat. He believes that the Heat have a greater chance of winning the NBA championship next year compared to the other four interested teams.

Reports suggest that the Heat are preparing a trade proposal for the Blazers. The Heat are expected to offer Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson as compensation for acquiring Lillard.

If Lillard joins, the Heat will form a big three with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who have been the backbone of the team over the past two seasons.

New Contract for Reaves with the Lakers

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers have successfully secured shooting guard Austin Reaves, whose contract was expiring this summer. According to reports from Shams Charania, Reaves has agreed to stay with the Lakers by signing a four-year contract.

Reaves will earn $56 million for this four-year contract, a significant increase from his previous earnings. He joined the Lakers in 2021 on a two-way contract after going undrafted in the NBA Draft.

Lakers' Bold Moves Ahead of the 2023/2024 NBA Season

The Lakers were willing to pay a high price for Reaves due to his exceptional contributions last year. Reaves played a pivotal role in the Lakers' resurgence, helping them advance to the NBA Western Conference Finals before being defeated by the Denver Nuggets.

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Reaves joins Japanese player Rui Hachimura, who has also been retained by the Lakers, as well as point guard D'Angelo Russell. The Lakers have also successfully landed quality free agent players in Gabe Vincent and Turean Prince.

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