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NBA tells teams Lillard would honor contract in any trade, warns of discipline for saying otherwise

Lillard told the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this month he wanted to be traded and his agent subsequently made clear his preference was Miami

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard brings the ball up against the New York Knicks during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, March 14, 2023.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard brings the ball up against the New York Knicks during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, March 14, 2023.Craig Mitchelldyer (AP)

The NBA told teams Friday that Damian Lillard and his agent confirmed that the All-Star guard would honor his contract in any potential trade, despite the agent saying Lillard only wanted to be dealt to the Miami Heat.

A memo sent to general managers and obtained by The Associated Press also warned that Lillard would be subject to discipline by the league if he or Aaron Goodwin make additional comments suggesting he won’t fully perform the requirements of his contract in the event of a trade.

Lillard told the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this month he wanted to be traded and Goodwin subsequently made clear his preference was Miami.

“Dame’s position won’t change,” Goodwin told AP on July 6. “This entire situation was about building an opportunity for Portland to win or giving him another opportunity that he wants, which is Miami.”

The league said it interviewed Lillard and Goodwin, along with several teams with whom Goodwin spoke. Goodwin denied telling teams that Lillard would refuse to play for them and the teams provided descriptions that were “mostly, though not entirely, consistent with Goodwin’s statements to us.”

Players are not allowed to publicly request trades. The league also stated in the memo that it told the Players Association that further comments such as Goodwin’s will be subject to discipline.

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