During this offseason, Damian Lillard and James Harden Trade requests from both the Portland Trail Blazers and the Philadelphia 76ers, both prominent NBA stars, made trade requests from their respective teams.
These requests have stirred conversations about the NBA, and Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, has voiced his discontent with the situation, emphasizing his desire for both players and teams to honor their contractual obligations.
Regarding Damian Lillard and James Harden trade requests, he remarked, “Don’t like them, as a league, I want players and teams to both honor their contracts. I’m watching everything going on in Portland and Philadelphia and hoping they get resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. I’m glad it seems to have calmed down as far as public discourse.”
Despite Lillard being under contract with the Trail Blazers until at least the 2025-26 season, with a player option for 2026-27, he has actively sought a departure from Portland.
On the other hand, Harden chose to stay with the Sixers for the 2023-24 season, seemingly with the expectation of being traded. The fact that Philadelphia hasn’t secured a trade deal appears to be a source of frustration for him.
The Miami Heat are also involved in the Lillard situation, as the 33-year-old expressed a desire to be transferred to South Florida. This has impacted Lillard’s market value, and the league issued a warning against him publicly favoring a move to the Heat.
As the 2023-24 season draws near, there are no guarantees that Lillard and Harden will have new teams by the start of the season.
For the Miami Heat, the Lillard situation has significantly influenced their offseason decisions. If they do acquire the seven-time All-Star, they will be adding a player who averaged 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game last season.
Trade requests have become increasingly common in the NBA in recent years and show no signs of slowing down. If Commissioner Silver aims to reduce the frequency of such requests, he may need to implement policy changes within the league to discourage such situations.
Lillard has spent his entire career with the Blazers, while Harden has played for four different teams. Only time will reveal what lies ahead for both players.