Damian Lillard moves to Milwaukee Bucks in a blockbuster three-team deal - Hindustan Times

Damian Lillard moves to Milwaukee Bucks in a blockbuster three-team deal

Sep 28, 2023 11:57 AM IST

The move comes months after Damian Lillard had requested Portland Trail Blazers for a trade.

Seven-time All-NBA selection Damian Lillard is all set to play alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo at the Milwaukee Bucks this season. Lillard was part of a three-team deal which saw Jrue Holiday and Deandre Ayton move to the Portland Trail Blazers and Jusuf Nurkic, Keyon Johnson and Grayson Allen head to the Phoenix Suns. The move comes months after Lillard requested his former side the Blazers to be traded. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Lillard's 32.2 points per game is the most by a player to change sides in the following season.

Damian Lillard(AP)
Damian Lillard(AP)

Sharing his feelings about the move, Lillard revealed that he is “excited” for the next chapter. “The casuals won’t be addressed but the Trailblazers fans and city of Portland that I love truly will be … and they will be addressed truthfully. Stay tuned. Excited for my next chapter,” read a post shared by Lillard on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

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Damian Lillard had held talks with Portland Trail Blazers multiple times this offseason, asking for the lineup to be developed to a certain point where he can have a chance to fight for the championship. Though, the All-Star guard’s urge went in vain. So, it was not quite a surprise why the 33-year-old appeared to be frustrated with the Blazers’ lack of success in recent years.

The furthest the Blazers reached during Lillard’s association with them was the Western Conference finals four years back. The Blazers, however, had to face a defeat to the Golden State Warriors back then.

Lillard was, eventually, compelled to ask for a trade request with a desire of joining the Miami Heat. Lillard’s request came in July right after the Blazers decided to opt for one more guard, Scoot Henderson.

Having spent 11 seasons with the Blazers, Lillard succeeded in establishing himself as one of the finest guards in the NBA. Despite his sublime show during the last campaign, the Blazers failed to reach the playoffs for the second consecutive time.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks now appear to be one of the favourites to win the title this time, following Damian Lillard’s acquisition. With Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lillard in the roster, the Bucks will certainly be one of the strongest contenders this season to clinch the championship.

"Today is an exciting day for Milwaukee. When you have the rare opportunity to pair one of the premier NBA players with a highly versatile roster that has lofty goals, you go for it. And we're thrilled to welcome seven-time All-Star Damian Lillard to the Bucks,” Bucks president Peter Feigin and general manager Jon Horst said in a statement.

There have been speculations about Giannis Antetokounmpo possibly making a move away from the Bucks. But now having roped in Damian Lillard, the Bucks can be confident of having the Greek Freak in their squad on a long-term basis.

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