• Damian Lillard requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers
  • According the sources, Damian Lillard's first choice is Miami Heat

Portland Trail Blazers star point guard, Damian Lillard, asked for a trade after playing on the team for 11 seasons.

Lillard's agent, Aaron Goodwin, reportedly told the team Sunday his client was looking to move, and his preferred destination is the Miami Heat.

Lillard, who averaged 32.2 points and 7.3 assists in the 2022/2023 NBA regular season, is one of the Blazers leading scorers. The request came as a surprise to many fans as the 2023 NBA free agency negotiation period opens.

According to Yahoo Sports, in September 2022, Lillard told The Dave Pasch Podcast he planned on staying with the Trail Blazers until retirement.

"As long as I feel that our organization is putting their best foot forward and we're on the same page about doing everything that we can do to win, then I'm willing to go out swinging," Lillard said at the time. "I want to win in Portland."

This seems unlikely given the Trail Blazers poor performance in the 2022/2023 season (33-49). Fans on the Trail Blazers community page, Blazers Edge, blamed the record on poor defense.

Moreover, Lillard has lacked another All-Star player at his side since LaMarcus Aldridge left for the San Antonio Spurs in 2015.

Lillard made it clear earlier in the year that he wanted All-Star calibre veterans, not young players with little experience. At the age of 35, Lillard's still in his prime, but not for much longer.

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, "Dame (Lillard) does not want a youth movement. He wants to play with vets. He wants the team to upgrade fast and get veteran players that can help him now."

The Trail Blazers front office, on the other hand, made it clear they're interested in a youth movement, as evidenced by them drafting Shaedon Sharpe out of high school with the seventh overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and then Scoot Henderson, another high school player, with the third pick of the 2023 NBA Draft.

ESPN reported on Trail Blazers General Manager Joe Cronin's response to Lillard's trade request.

"We have been clear that we want Dame here, but he notified us today he wants out and he'd prefer to play someplace else," Cronin said. "What has not changed for us is that we're committed to winning, and we are going to do what's best for the team in pursuit of that goal."

Many fans are reportedly unhappy with Lillard's trade request. Some Twitter users questioned Lillard's loyalty to the team. Lillard responded to the critics in a Tweet, in which he said, "It's in my blood to take the high road. I'd love to hear what fans are turning on... have I mislead them? Or anyone? Fill me in."

Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard, responds to trade request criticism.

While it's still unclear which team Lillard will move to, according to ESPN, the LA Clippers, The Miami Heat, and the Philadelphia 76ers are the three teams that are interested in a trade deal with the seven-time NBA All-Star.