Dame To Bucks: A Potential Championship Defining Trade?
Dame To Bucks: A Potential Championship Defining Trade?
May 19, 2024 4:09 AM

The seven time all-star Damian Lillard said goodbye to the Portland fans and confirmed his arrival in Milwaukee, a team that in a few hours became the main candidate for winning the championship, with betting in every major sportsbook favoring the Bucks as the top contenders.

Giannis had publicly declared last month that he’d ditch the Bucks if they failed to remain competitive. Clearly, they listened. The addition of Lillard changes the playing field and the entire NBA knows it.

Everyone is enthusiastic — expect maybe Jimmy Butler and the rest of the Miami Heat organization.

Jimmy’s already making videos inviting the NBA to check the legality of the move. In a video he shared on his Instagram account, Jimmy said “Hey, NBA, you might want to look into the Bucks for tampering (premature talks with free agents). You didn’t hear it from me; I heard it from someone else.”

But, none of that matters because the deal is done.

Full Trade Details: How it Happened?

What began as a dramatic rumor yesterday has now become a sealed deal overnight, sending shockwaves across the USA.

Damian Lillard, the biggest icon in Portland since the days of Bill Walton, has found a new home and will join the star-studded roster of Milwaukee, which already boasts the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’s the deal of the summer.

According to the latest reports, Lillard was initially considering signing with Miami but ultimately chose the 2021 champions.

This trade involves not only Portland and Milwaukee but also Phoenix.

In return, the Blazers will receive Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Tomani Kamara, the Bucks’ 2029 first-round pick, and the right to swap picks with Milwaukee in 2028 and 2030.

The Suns will receive Yusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nasir Little, and Keon Johnson as part of the deal (the Suns are looking pretty good too).

Lillard’s devoted his entire career to the Portland Trailblazers and surely, there should be nothing but love from Portland to Dame and vice versa. Lillard has already reestablished his love for Portland even after the trade via a tweet “I want to ignore all the regular fans, and tell Portland and the Blazers fans that I love them. Really. I will treat them in the most appropriate way possible. Waiting for the next chapter.”

What does Lillard bring to the table?

Short answer: a bucketload of attacking firepower.

“Lillard can draw defenders away from Giannis, while Giannis can create space for Lillard,” enthused Eric Niem of The Athletic. “When you add Khris Middleton, Milwaukee arguably boasts the best trio in the league.” It’s not just Niem’s opinion; nearly all commentators, even online betting sites like Betway and agencies in Vegas, share the sentiment.

“Milwaukee is gambling that the offensive upgrade with Lillard will outweigh the defensive drop-off,” remarked one commentator. “It’s shocking the Bucks were able to pull this off.,” tweeted Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

“The partnership between Giannis and ‘Dame’ will be unstoppable.” Not only current players but also former legends are excited. Magic Johnson wrote, “NBA fans, can you envision a pick-and-roll between Lillard and Giannis? They will be unstoppable.”

Reason to be skeptical?

ESPN, however, approached the trade with caution and skepticism, awarding it only a +B grade. “Milwaukee didn’t seem like a team that would land Lillard, but this is their strategy to convince Giannis that they can win a championship and keep him beyond 2024/25. It’s a substantial investment—giving up first-round picks for seven years,” stated their report. “Milwaukee is gambling on offense prevailing over defense.”

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