Tuesday, April 23, 2024
HomeSportsNBA sends memo to teams addressing Damian Lilard's trade request

NBA sends memo to teams addressing Damian Lilard’s trade request

In the wake of posturing about Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard’s desire to play only for the Miami Heat by his agent, Aaron Goodwin, the NBA sent a memo to all 30 teams Friday stating that any player, or his agent, who makes public or private comments indicating he won’t “fully perform the services called for under his player contract in the event of a trade” will be subject to discipline.

The memo, which was obtained by ESPN, said the league had interviewed Lillard and Goodwin in the wake of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting earlier this month that Goodwin called other teams and warned them against trading for Lillard because he would be unhappy anywhere but Miami.

Goodwin also stated to multiple outlets that his client wanted to play only for the Heat.

The NBA said in the memo that Goodwin “denied stating or indicating to any team that Lillard would refuse to play for them.” It went on to say that the “relevant teams” provided descriptions of their communication with Goodwin that were “mostly, though not entirely, consistent with Goodwin’s statements to us.”

Lillard and Goodwin also told the NBA he would fulfill his contract regardless of where he was traded.

The NBA said it had informed the National Basketball Players Association that any private or public comments like this will be subject to discipline. The league already has rules about publicly issuing trade requests, though they are allowed to be done privately.

Lillard informed the Blazers on July 1 that he would like to be traded after the team used the third pick in last month’s NBA draft on star point guard prospect Scoot Henderson. Speaking to reporters during the Las Vegas Summer League earlier this month, Blazers general manager Joe Cronin said it could take “months” to complete a Lillard trade.

Lillard has played his entire 11-year NBA career for the Blazers.

“I think what I’ve learned more than anything is patience is critical,” Cronin said. “Don’t be reactive. Don’t jump at things just to seemingly solve a problem. I think the teams that have ended up in the most positive situations post-trade have been the ones that have been really diligent in taking their time and not been impulsive, or the teams that really kept their urgency under control.

“So I think that’s how my approach has been with this and will be with this. We’re going to be patient; we’re going to do what’s best for our team. We’re going to see how this lands. And if it takes months, it takes months.”

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