Photo: Peter Baba

The Portland Trail Blazers have been searching for a trade deal to accommodate Damian Lillard’s desire to join the Miami Heat, a demand he made over two months ago.

Despite Lillard’s preference for Miami, the ongoing impasse between the Blazers and the Heat has prompted Portland to consider alternative trade options.

Chris Mannix expressed optimism regarding the Oklahoma City Thunder’s potential interest in Lillard if they are performing well near the trade deadline.

“Trust me, I wrote this last week. I believe I’m going to call this an educated opinion,” Mannix said on The Crossover NBA Show, per Ross Lovelace of Sports Illustrated. “That if Dame is still on that Blazers roster in January. And if OKC is overachieving. If they’re playing really well, don’t be surprised if they go out and make a run at Lillard.”