Washington Wizards shouldn’t be the third team in a Lillard trade

Tyler Herro, Miami Heat. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images /

NBA free agency might be coming to a close soon, but there are still huge unanswered questions remaining. The biggest one is perhaps Damian Lillard’s next destination. The Portland Trail Blazers star seems destined to go to Miami, but reports indicate that the Blazers and the Heat will need a third team to facilitate the trade. The Washington Wizards may look like a prime candidate but they should stay away from getting involved.

Since Lillard’s preferred destination is the Miami Heat, Portland is trying to get a deal done with them. The main complication for the trade is the salary matching due to Lillard’s 2023-24 salary of $45.6 million. Miami has to include either Kyle Lowry or Tyler Herro in the deal to make the trade financially legal, but Portland is rightfully not interested in either.

Portland will most likely receive a slew of future draft picks and young players like Nikola Jovic from Miami. However, due to their surplus of young guards like Anfernee Simons, Scoot Henderson, and Shaedon Sharp, they don’t have a need for Tyler Herro and his huge contract. Kyle Lowry doesn’t make much sense as a 37-year-old on a rebuilding team either.

Hence the need for a third team to take on one of those contracts, most likely Tyler Herro. Portland would want to get young players or draft picks instead of Herro in the deal. And on paper, Washington might look like a team that can get involved.

If Portland is interested in a combination of Wizards’ young players like Deni Avdija, Johnny Davis, Daniel Gafford, or Corey Kispert, they can make the finances work. There is already reporting that the Miami Heat may be interested in acquiring Landry Shamet from the Wizards as part of a three-team trade.

However, Washington should not be interested in such a deal.

The Wizards already have Jordan Poole, a player extremely similar to Tyler Herro. Washington is also trying to develop Bilal Coulibaly, who will need on-ball reps. Another high-volume shooter and scorer next to Poole and Kuzma will take opportunities away from the young Wizards.

A point guard like Tyus Jones is a much cleaner fit next to Poole, Coulibaly, and Kuzma. A pass-first floor general who will set his teammates up is more useful on this team than a score-first guard.

Even though Tyler Herro is a valuable player with a high offensive upside, he is not necessary for the Wizards, especially if it means they have to part ways with some of their young players.

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