Former Portland Trail Blazer says Patrick Beverley has to fight Damian Lillard when he arrives in Milwaukee

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Turner, a former Portland Trail Blazers player and teammate of Damian Lillard, stated on X that Patrick Beverley must get into a tussle with Lillard now that Beverley is a member of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Turner played alongside Lillard on the Trail Blazers organization for three seasons, from the 2016-17 season through the 2018-19 season.

The Bucks traded for Beverley on Thursday and sent Cameron Payne along with a second-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Lillard and Beverley have a history of directing trash-talk at each other. In a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Trail Blazers in January of last year, the two were seen exchanging words.

But with all that said, Lillard doesn’t seem to have any bad blood toward Beverley at this juncture.

“First, I want to say I’m sad to see Cam go,” Lillard told TNT and Bleacher Report. “We developed a friendship that I cherish. As for Pat, he brings an edge and a defensive tenacity on the perimeter that we need. There are not many players who bring it on a nightly like him. I look forward to working together. Our past personal issues don’t trump an opportunity to win a championship.”

Lillard is averaging 24.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from deep with the Bucks so far during the 2023-24 regular season. He was recently selected to represent the Eastern Conference in the starting lineup in the 2024 All-Star Game alongside Joel Embiid, Tyrese Haliburton, Jayson Tatum and his current teammate in Giannis Antetokounmpo.

But the floor general did not appear in the Bucks’ game against the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 6 due to an ankle injury. Sans arguably their second-best player in the lineup, the Bucks lost to the Suns on the road by eight points to drop their record to 33-18 on the season.

The Bucks have played some of their worst basketball of the season over the past couple of weeks, evidenced by the team’s 5-5 record over its last 10 games.

But the Bucks are still in a prime position to finish the 2023-24 regular season with one of the best records in the Eastern Conference and the NBA. Milwaukee is just one game back of the red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers — who are riding a seven-game winning streak — for the No. 2 seed in the conference.

Perhaps the addition of Beverley will help the Bucks get out of their current slump and back to their winning ways.

Share This Article
Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.