Austin Rivers Voices Concerns Over Damian Lillard’s Trade Request to Miami Heat

July 25, 2023

In the latest NBA news, Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard has expressed his desire to be traded to the Miami Heat, a move that has garnered both support and criticism. One such critic is free agent guard Austin Rivers, who believes Lillard’s request for a trade is “bad for the league.”

During an appearance on The Ringer’s NBA Show, Rivers voiced his concerns, saying, “If you were a free agent, then you could choose where you were gonna go… This started with James [Harden] and Ben [Simmons] and all these guys doing this sh*t. It’s bad for the league.”

While Rivers remains a big fan of Lillard’s talent, he strongly advocates for players honoring the contracts they sign with their respective teams. He preferred Lillard to stay and fulfill his contract with the Portland Trail Blazers rather than seek a trade to another group.

“The NBA is a privilege, regardless of how good of a player you are, man,” Rivers added. “If you are a free agent, then you can choose where you wanna go; that’s the business. But when you’re not and sign a deal, man, that’s part of the business, bro. If you get traded somewhere, you gotta go play.”

On the other side of the debate, Miami Heat fans eagerly welcome the idea of Lillard joining their team. However, the Heat are finding a suitable trade package to secure the star guard’s services.

Lillard’s trade request has also sparked discussions about players pushing for moves to specific teams, which has become more prevalent in recent years. Rivers references the cases of James Harden and Ben Simmons, who have previously made similar requests, and believes this approach negatively impacts the league’s integrity.

As the situation unfolds, the basketball community awaits to see how the Portland Trail Blazers will handle Lillard’s trade request and whether the Miami Heat will successfully acquire the sought-after guard. Regardless of the outcome, the debate about player movement and its impact on the NBA continues to be a topic of intense discussion among fans, players, and analysts alike.