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Defector Up All Night

Be Glad You Aren’t Damian Lillard’s Agent

Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the third quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Moda Center on April 09, 2023 in Portland, Oregon
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Any sport with a salary cap and a CBA stuffed with as many arcane rules as the NBA's boasts is going to occasionally force players, GMs, and agents into ridiculous situations. For example, Damian Lillard is currently trying to force the Portland Trail Blazers to trade him to Miami, a demand he's making with no leverage because he signed a four-year extension with the Blazers in 2019 and then tacked two more years onto it in 2022. Portland GM Joe Cronin is happy to trade Lillard, but can probably get a much better return from a team that is not the Miami Heat. These circumstances have left Lillard and his agent, Aaron Goodwin, with no option other than trying to influence Cronin's decision through media leaks and backchannels. So this is what Goodwin has to spend his days doing:

As Cronin explores the broader landscape, Lillard's agent, Aaron Goodwin, has been calling prospective trade partners and warning against trading for his client, team executives told ESPN. Goodwin is telling organizations outside of Miami that trading for Lillard is trading for an unhappy player. As interference goes, this is a time-honored agent maneuver to depress offers and clear a path to a predetermined destination.


Nobody would have to debase themselves like this if American sports leagues just had transfer markets.

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