The NBA offseason produced some interesting storylines in its first week with Damian Lillard requesting a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers and James Harden opting into his deal with the Philadelphia 76ers and reportedly also requesting a trade.
Emily Austin, host of “The Hoop Chat,” talked to Fox News Digital about the NBA offseason and offered her take on some of the hot topics ahead of next season, including what she thinks will happen with Lillard and a possible trade to the Miami Heat.
“I don’t see a scenario where Miami can put up a package that will satisfy the Blazers,” Austin told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.
“They’ve already expressed they’re not interested in Tyler Herro, and if the Miami Heat are going to give up a Bam (Adebayo) or a Jimmy (Butler) or a key role player to the team in exchange for another star – I call it a star swap — what did you accomplish by that? I feel like that will defeat the entire purpose of the Heat running for a championship.
“If you give up a superstar for Damian Lillard, I feel like it’s an equal trade and it was pointless. If they could come up with a package, which I’ve seen has been in the works, but it’s not ‘satisfying’ the Blazers, they’re gonna have to think of a third team that could help make this happen.”
Austin suggested the San Antonio Spurs could be that third team to help complete a deal or even swoop in an acquire Lillard for themselves.
As for Harden, Austin predicted the superstar point guard will remain with the 76ers. Harden picked up his $36.5 million option for the 2023-24 and then requested a trade, according to multiple reports.
“Ultimately, I think James Harden kinda needs to find his place and settle there. I saw with the Brooklyn Nets how it rolled for him. I saw in Houston how that rolled for him. I think James Harden needs to stick with Philly. They need to find whatever is not working for them and go off of that.”
Austin added she didn’t think Harden will find the “greener grass” he’s looking for elsewhere.