Is Heat Lillard trade talk all about calling a Blazers bluff?

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Q: Ira, you wrote two weeks ago about how you shouldn’t try to win a trade, but make a fair trade. Are there not fair trades to be made for Damian Lillard? People talk about what the Heat don’t have. But they have good players, draft picks and players to fill cap space. Sit down. Work it out. Don’t negotiate in the media. – Nate.

A: And yet it seems as if that’s all there has been, negotiation via proxy in the media, as to why the Heat offer either isn’t good enough, or why the Blazers are prolonging the inevitable. But here’s the thing: If the Blazers felt the Heat don’t have enough, they simply could say it is time to move on. Instead, it is as if the Heat have enough of what the Blazers want, only that the Blazers want it all. Thus the impasse. Really have no horse in this race, or than you are talking about a 33-year-old with nearly $200 million remaining on his contract. That matters. The Heat know it. The Blazers should, as well.

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Q: Hello Ira, love the Josh Richardson signing. Can we bring back Justise Winslow? – Carlos, West Park.

A: The fact the Justise Winslow remains unsigned at this juncture speaks volumes. We have reached the point where even a guaranteed minimum deal might be hard to secure. Justise’s game does not easily fit today’s NBA game. He has sort of become Ben Simmons Lite.

Q: Who negotiated the new CBA on behalf of the players? It sure seems to benefit the top 10 to 20 percent of players only. They still get their money. As for the rest of the players, a whole lot of minimum contracts. – Andrew, Coral Gables.

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A: But the minimum also is more than $3 million for some players. So it’s not as there necessarily are losers in the process.

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