The deal is done. It’s safe to say Miami is not the destination. Damian Lillard is headed to the Milwaukee Bucks as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The three teams involved in the deal are Milwaukee, Phoenix and Portland.
The details are:
Milwaukee: Damian Lillard
Portland: DeAndre Ayton, Jrue Holiday, Toumani Camara, a 2029 unprotected MIL 1st, and unprotected MIL swap rights in 2028 and 2030
The deal comes months after Lillard formally requested a trade in July, the Blazers front office was patient in getting a deal done. Lillard, 33, has spent 11 years with Portland where he became the franchise leading scorer (19,376 points), a 7-time NBA All-Star and a member of an All-NBA team 7 times. He led the franchise to the playoffs eight times, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2018-19.
Last season, he had a career year averaging 32.2 points and 7.3 assists but played just 58 games as he sat out the last month of the season. He scored 71 points against the Houston Rockets on Feb. 26. Despite the historic performance though, the Portland Trail Blazers failed to make the playoffs for the second-year in a row. The Blazers then drafted Scoot Henderson with No. 3 overall pick.
The trade talks had ramped up over the last few days with the expectation Lillard would be traded before Media Day. The Raptors had been reported as the front-runner. Lillard and Giannis will now have the opportunity to team up like they’ve wanted to.
The Portland Trail Blazers remain committed to their young backcourt, which means that Holiday could be flipped for some young players and more potential picks. The end of an era had the writing on the wall for several years now, with both sides heading in different directions.
With Damian Lillard heading to the Bucks, they become an instant favorite to win the East. Though, Miami and Boston won’t be too far behind. Even with the trade, the Bucks are able to keep most of their core intact.
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