The bidding war between the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat for the services of superstar point guard Damian Lillard has reached a fever pitch in the last few days, with both sides trying to jockey for position and establish themselves as the frontrunner for one of the best players in the game.
Masai Ujiri and Toronto have jumped out in front of the Heat in recent days, with the Raptors apparently giving the Portland Trail Blazers an offer that is much better than what Pat Riley and Miami were trying to entice their Pacific Northwest friends with.
Miami-centric media has been kicked into overdrive in the last few days, with reports insisting the Toronto buzz is nothing but leverage popping up out of the woodwork. The voices trying to discredit the Raptors and invalidate their pursuit of Lillard are passing the point of absurdity.
Miami radio legend Dan Le Batard said that Miami is not going to overpay to acquire Lillard and cast doubt on Toronto’s willingness to absorb Lillard’s gigantic contract, citing their inability to retain Kyle Lowry after 2021.
Because clearly Lowry back then and Lillard now are in the same tier of player.
Dan Le Batard says theToronto Raptors won’t acquire Damian Lillard.
Lowry was looking to leave a retooling Raptors team and join a contending Heat squad as he chased a second championship ring. Furthermore, despite Lowry’s solid gold legacy in Toronto, the gap between Lowry we saw in his final season with the Raptors and what Lillard is now is as cavernous as Springfield Gorge.
The Raptors would love to avoid spending a ton of money due to all of their impending free agents, but Ujiri knows how tough it will be to retain all of his big names. Getting Lillard and holding on to Pascal Siakam would make them a championship contender in an open Eastern Conference.
The oddest part about Le Batard’s diatribe is the fact the Heat did overpay for an aging point guard when they signed Lowry. KLow has not performed up to what his fully guaranteed contract showed Miami expected from him. Lowry’s contract is quickly moving toward albatross territory.
Miami fans might be panicking amid reports Toronto is in front, as they essentially dared Portland to find a better deal than what they had on show. Now that the Blazers might have found a potential taker for Lillard north of the border, the Heat’s grand plan could come crumbling down.