It finally happened.
Damian Lillard was officially traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday. In Milwaukee, he will pair up with superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. After Antetokounmpo said in August that it was not a guarantee he would sign a massive extension with Milwaukee, the Bucks did not think twice about pairing him with superstar.
Damian Lillard (from the Blazers)
Trail Blazers receive:
Jrue Holiday (from the Bucks)
Deandre Ayton (from the Suns)
Toumani Camara (from the Suns)
2029 first-round pick (from the Bucks)
2028 first-round pick swap (from the Bucks)
2030 first-round pick swap (from the Bucks)
All in all, this was a solid trade for all parties involved.
For the Bucks, they officially have another superstar on their team. Some might argue Lillard will be the No. 1 offensive option on the team. Antetokounmpo has struggled down the stretch in close games, especially in the playoffs over the past few years. The Bucks will certainly rely on Lillard to help with this. The Bucks are probably the overwhelming favorites to win the title. They do have concerns with the defensive backcourt, but when you have debatably the best defensive front-court duo (Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez), it certainly makes up for any weaknesses in the backcourt.
For the Blazers, they can now officially click the reset button and start their rebuild. It has been reported that they are looking to flip Jrue Holiday to get more assets in return since Holiday is not part of their long-term plans. Once they get a deal for Holiday, they will have turned Lillard into a boatload of picks and probably some expiring deals or solid pieces. This is exactly how a rebuilding team should attack these situations.
Yet, the Suns might be the winners of this trade. After acquiring Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal, they got rid of most of their depth and draft capital in the short term. They have also been wanting to trade Ayton since they signed him to a long-term deal. They addressed some of their depth concerns through free agency, were able to get some more bench pieces through this trade, solved their problem in trading Ayton, and added a solid rim defender in Jusuf Nurkic. Though defense is still a concern, depth is no longer a major issue.
Very rarely do trades work out for all parties, but Wednesday’s three-team blockbuster might be an exception.
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