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Damian Lillard traded to Milwaukee Bucks

Source: Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard, the all-star point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sept. 28, three months after Lillard’s initial request for a trade.

The full trade was between three teams with the Blazers receiving Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, a 2028 first-round pick swap a 2029 first-round pick, and a 2030 first-round pick swap from Milwaukee. On the other end of the trade, the Bucks received Damian Lillard. Finally, the Phoenix Suns received Jusuf Nurkić, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson, and Grayson Allen. 

The three-way trade is rated positively for all three teams involved. From the Blazers’ perspective, while the franchise lost its superstar, Lillard, the team gained a 25-year-old rising center Deandre Ayton, and reliable defensive guard Jrue Holiday along with high draft picks. Furthermore, Toumani Camara is projected to be a strong addition to the center position. 

Regarding Jrue Holiday, he was traded to the Boston Celtics on Oct. 2. This trade would give the Blazers more picks while the Celtics could have a replacement for Marcus Smart, a key guard who was traded. 

“The Bucks already have Giannis, one of the most dominant players, but his one weakness was his inability to shoot,” Ben Lee (9), basketball fan, said. “Simultaneously, Lillard previously lacked a reliable big man. So, these two players together would easily make them one of the best teams in the league for next season.”

From the Suns’ perspective, though they lost Ayton, the Suns have an overall increase in player depth and a strong veteran center Jusuf Nurkić. Also, the team bolstered their overall bench with both experienced players, like Grayson Allen, and young players like Keon Johnson, guard, and power forward Nassir Little.  Many fans argue that this trade may open new opportunities for the three centerpieces of the team: Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal. 

However, the trade was unexpected. In Lillard’s initial request for a trade, he specifically listed the Miami Heat as his primary destination, leading many fans to believe that the Heat would eventually acquire Lillard by the start of the 2023-24 NBA season. 

“When I first saw Lillard to the Bucks, I was really shocked,” Alex Cho (11), Jimmy Butler fan, said. “The Heat made many moves based on the fact that Lillard was coming to their team. For instance, the Heat didn’t re-sign key players like Max Strus and Gabe Vincent, and currently lack guards and depth within their team.”

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