NBA insider details how Suns interest in Kyle Lowry may have given Damian Lillard hope he'd land with Heat

Damian Lillard and Kyle Lowry

One NBA insider believes that Damian Lillard always held out hope for a trade to the Miami Heat — perhaps even when there were indications that it wasn’t going to happen — in part because the Phoenix Suns expressed interest in Kyle Lowry.

Lillard was perhaps hoping that a three-team trade was going to come together that would have landed him in Miami while sending Lowry to Phoenix.

Although the Heat were Lillard’s No. 1 destination, the Portland Trail Blazers sent him to the Milwaukee Bucks after he expanded his list of acceptable landing spots.

Lillard landing with the Bucks is somewhat of a nightmare outcome for the Heat. In addition to losing out on his services, Miami will now have to deal with him playing for one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

It’s not too late for the Heat to make some roster improvements this offseason, but as things currently stand, the squad is going to enter the 2023-24 campaign with a roster that arguably hasn’t improved from last season.

That’s particularly troubling given the fact that some other contenders around the NBA — including Eastern Conference foes like the Bucks and Boston Celtics — have had big offseasons.

Lillard averaged 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game last season, and he’s now set to join forces with Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, who averaged 31.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game himself.

The Heat did eliminate the Bucks in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, but the upcoming season is obviously going to look very different on paper.

Ironically, if the Heat hadn’t defeated the Bucks in last season’s playoffs, there are no guarantees that Milwaukee would have been motivated to acquire Lillard this offseason. Miami’s series victory over Milwaukee may have created some unintended consequences.

At the end of the day, the Heat have done enough in recent years to prove to the NBA world that they can never be dismissed as contenders, but there’s no denying that it’s been a frustrating offseason in South Florida. Perhaps there will be new reasons for optimism in the near future.

The post NBA insider details how Suns interest in Kyle Lowry may have given Damian Lillard hope he’d land with Heat appeared first on Heat Nation.


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