Damian Lillard communicated to the Portland Trail Blazers that he was willing to be patient and let the season play out if it meant he could eventually be traded to the Miami Heat.
Lillard has been working out at the Blazers' practice facility over the past two weeks, interacting with players and coaches.
Joe Cronin expressed skepticism about Lillard beginning training camp with the Blazers and it became clear they would try to resolve the trade situation before media day on Oct. 2.
Lillard believed his loyalty to the Blazers since he was drafted in 2012 meant they would accommodate him with his trade request to the Heat. Lillard wanted the Blazers to try to find a workable deal with the Heat and that wish went unfulfilled.
Lillard's camp had a realization that he would need to begin to seriously consider the possibility of playing somewhere other than Miami.
Cronin stopped responding to all communication from Lillard's agent, Aaron Goodwin, in mid-September as tension increased between both sides.
Once Lillard was convinced a trade to the Heat was virtually impossible, sources say he came open to the prospect of playing for the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. The Toronto Raptors had serious interest in trading for Lillard, but his resistance to playing for that franchise remained an obstacle.