In a blockbuster trade, the Milwaukee Bucks acquired star guard Damian Lillard. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports they’re executing a three-team deal orchestrated with the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns.
Lillard, a seven-time All-Star and All-NBA player is leaving Portland after 11 seasons. His record with the Blazers is impressive; he led the team to eight playoff appearances and ranks first in team points and three-pointers.
Lillard recently expressed his desire for a trade, so this moment comes after careful negotiation. Portland will receive many players, including Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, and future draft picks. And Phoenix is also getting recruits like Jusuf Nurkic and Grayson Allen.
This deal follows a career year for Lillard. Despite only playing 58 games due to injury, Lillard averaged record-high stats: 32.2 points and 7.3 assists per game. He even scored a season-high 71 points against the Houston Rockets in February.
Unfortunately, these numbers didn’t lead to a playoff spot for the Blazers. They surprisingly missed playoffs for two consecutive seasons. But they kept their drafts and chose Scoot Henderson as their #2 overall pick.
However, this trade is stirring the NBA pot. U.S. sportsbooks now tip the Bucks as the favorites for the NBA championship. Although they were behind the Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, and Suns, Lillard’s addition catapulted them to the top. Milwaukee fans are undoubtedly buzzing about Lillard’s arrival, hoping he’ll push the team to another championship.