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Report: Dame expressed interest in Bucks, Nets prior to deal; Raps came close

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images Sport / Getty

While Damian Lillard indicated that the Miami Heat were his preferred destination, it turns out he was open to a move elsewhere.

Ten days ago - with trade talks between the Heat and Portland Trail Blazers stalling - Lillard's agent privately informed the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets that his client would be interested in a deal to either team, sources told Andscape's Marc J. Spears.

It's unclear what the Nets were willing to give up in a potential trade, but the club had multiple first-round draft picks to offer after shipping Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns last February.

The Toronto Raptors, who were reportedly tabbed as the "front-runners" for Lillard earlier in the week, were also a real contender to land the seven-time All-Star, adds Spears. Portland has been linked to O.G. Anunoby in the past and was apparently intrigued at possibly adding rookie sharpshooter Gradey Dick to its young core.

However, with Lillard, 33, still owed more than a potential $215 million through 2026-27, his lack of interest in playing in Toronto impeded a deal, reports Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

The Blazers ultimately dealt Lillard to the Bucks in a three-team deal involving the Suns.

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