Damian Lillard will be traded to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-team deal including the Phoenix Suns, CBS Sports' Bill Reiter confirmed. The Portland Trail Blazers will receive Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara and draft capital in the deal while Phoenix lands Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson. The move represents a significant surprise for Lillard, who has spent the offseason pushing for a trade to the Miami Heat, specifically. Instead, he lands with the Bucks more than two months after making a trade request.
Here are the details of the blockbuster deal, which was announced Wednesday night:
- Bucks receive: Damian Lillard
- Blazers receive: Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, Bucks' 2029 first-round pick (unprotected), swap rights on Bucks' 2028 and 2030 picks
- Suns receive: Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson
The Blazers are expected to trade the veteran All-Star Holiday to another team as Portland begins a rebuild around No. 3 pick Scoot Henderson.
Lillard, a seven-time All-Star, can provide the Bucks with tremendous spacing thanks to his infamous long-range shooting. Only Stephen Curry and James Harden can top the 2,387 3-pointers he's made since entering the league. While his career mark of 37.2% from long range isn't necessarily elite on paper, he's consistently had to take difficult shots because of the personnel around him.
Now he'll join Giannis Antetokounmpo, who demands as much attention in the paint as any player in the league and regularly draws double and triple-teams on drives. Lillard and Khris Middleton should be able to feast on open looks for a dynamic Bucks squad that'll be tough to stop when healthy in 2023-24.
When Lillard initially asked for a trade in July, it quickly became clear that he had his heart set on a single team: the Miami Heat. "Truthfully, he wants to play in Miami. Period," Lillard's agent, Aaron Goodwin, told the NBA needed to send out to all 30 teams stating that it had "advised Goodwin and Lillard that any future comments, made privately to teams or publicly, suggesting Lillard will not fully perform the services called for under his player contract in the event of a trade will subject Lillard to discipline by the NBA." In the end, the Bucks defied Lillard's wish to land with the Heat and made the trade themselves.. The stance was so aggressive that the
Lillard posted on social media that he plans to eventually address Blazers fans "truthfully."
Now the Heat are left to pick up the pieces after an offseason built around a trade they ultimately couldn't make. Miami still has two open roster spots that it was likely holding for the sake of flexibility in a possible deal. The Heat lost key free agents Max Strus and Gabe Vincent in July, and with pretty much every notable free agent off the board, they have no means of replacing them externally. Miami's push for a third Finals trip in five years just grew significantly more difficult.
The Blazers, meanwhile, will finally move on after more than a decade with Lillard as their franchise player. In 11 seasons, Lillard guided the Blazers to the playoffs eight times. They never made it beyond the Western Conference Finals, though, and after two years in the lottery, it was finally time for the two sides to part. Portland will now rebuild around Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe, while Lillard starts the next phase of his career in Milwaukee.
What number will Damian Lillard wear for the Bucks?
Damian Lillard will wear No. 0 for the Bucks following the trade. New Damian Lillard Bucks jerseys are already available. Visit Fanatics to score all-new Damian Lillard hunter green and white jerseys right now.
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