5 winners from Damian Lillard to Bucks trade

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Nearly three months after asking the Portland Trail Blazers to trade him, Damian Lillard finally got what he wanted. Blazers GM Joe Cronin agreed to a three-team trade that sent “Dame Time” to the Milwaukee Bucks. Portland received Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen and the Bucks’ 2028, 2029 and 2030 first-round picks. The Phoenix Suns, who were the third team in the deal, traded Deandre Ayton and Toumani Camara to the Blazers and received Jusuf Nurkic, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson.

After months of angling for a chance to play for the Miami Heat, the Blazers accommodate Lillard’s trade request but not to his preferred destination. Still, playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez isn’t a poor consolation prize. Lillard may have landed in an even better spot.

With the dust of the shocking trade settling, there are undoubtedly winners to the said transaction.


Here are five who benefited the most from Damian Lillard’s trade to the Milwaukee Bucks

#5. Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns desperately wanted some cap flexibility after acquiring Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards. Trading Deandre Ayton gives them that plus added roster depth.

The Suns were set to pay Ayton roughly $101 million over the next three years. They just exchanged that for Jusuf Nurkic’s $54.2 million deal during the same stretch.

Phoenix’s firepower is loaded with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Beal. They probably felt they could get better overall with Nurkic manning the paint instead of Ayton.


#4. Scoot Henderson

The Portland Trail Blazers have officially started the Scoot Henderson era in Rip City. Blazers coach Chauncey Billups will give the keys of the team to the upcoming rookie following Damian Lillard’s move to Milwaukee.

With the uncertainty of Lillard still unresolved, Henderson’s role in the team might not have been as clear-cut. “Dame Time” could change his mind as he is still under contract and play for maybe another year for the Blazers until the team gets a better offer.

With Lillard out, the Portland Trail Blazers become Scoot Henderson’s team.


#3. Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers avoid a drawn-out drama that could have carried over to the start of training camp, which could have been disastrous. Joe Cronin acquired more first-round draft capital and a talented player in Deandre Ayton.

Cronin could also flip Jrue Holiday for even more draft capital. Portland also saved its reputation. They may not have sent Damian Lillard to the Miami Heat but the Blazers still did him right by trading the point guard to a legit championship contender.


#2. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo put the Milwaukee Bucks front office on notice a few weeks ago. He said he wasn’t signing an extension unless the team remained as committed as himself to winning a championship.

The Bucks just went out to sign Damian Lillard, perhaps the best point guard in the NBA outside of Steph Curry and Luka Doncic. Lillard still has years left on his contract, which should be enough to get Antetokounmpo time to contend for championships.


#1. Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard couldn’t force his way to South Beach. Still, a legitimate chance to win a championship with Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t the worst result of the trade.

Two years ago, “Dame Time” said that “The Greek Freak” was the player he would want to help win a title. He will get a chance to do just that now that they form perhaps the deadliest duo in the NBA.

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Edited by Michael Macasero
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