As the Damian Lillard trade saga has dragged on, the NBA reportedly has now stepped in.
The memo, which was obtained by multiple outlets, reportedly says Lillard and his agent, Aaron Goodwin, were interviewed by the league and warned that "any future comments, made privately to teams or publicly, suggesting Lillard will not fully perform the services called for under his player contract in the event of a trade" will be subject to discipline from the league.
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The NBPA was also informed that similar comments made by other players or their agents will be subject to punishment, according to the reported memo.
Lillard, who's spent his entire 11-year career in Portland, requested a trade from the Blazers on July 1, and it was widely reported that he only wanted to play for the Heat.
Days after the trade request was made, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, citing team executives, that Goodwin had "been calling prospective trade partners and warning against trading for his client" and "telling organizations outside of Miami that trading for Lillard is trading for an unhappy player."
In response to the report, Goodwin told the Miami Herald, "I do what I should for my client. Some teams I did call. Other teams have called me. It’s a respectful relationship with most teams. Truthfully, [Lillard] wants to play in Miami. Period.”
The league's reported memo says Goodwin "denied stating or indicating to any team that Lillard would refuse to play for them," adding that Goodwin and Lillard "affirmed to us that Lillard would fully perform the services called for under his player contract in any trade scenario."
The NBA asked rival teams about their discussions with Goodwin surrounding Lillard, and those descriptions were "mostly, though not entirely, consistent with Goodwin’s statements" to the league, per the reported memo.
Speaking at the Las Vegas Summer League earlier this month, Blazers general manager Joe Cronin reiterated that he would do what's best for the organization in regard to a Lillard trade, even if it takes months to find the right deal.
“We’re going to do what’s best for our team,’’ Cronin told reporters, via The Athletic's Jason Quick. “We’re going to see how this lands. And if it takes months, it takes months.
“Dame is obviously a very important person and player to us. What the rest of his career looks like matters to us, and we care about that. At the same time, we have to do what’s best for us. We’ve got to find the right deal and find the right makeup of the team we are going to build forward with. You hope you find that perfect situation where that lines up and he goes to a place he wants to and you get the best return possible. It’s complicated, and usually doesn’t work out just like that … It’s possible, but there is a lot of work involved.’’