In Garnett’s view, the Portland Trail Blazers did right by Lillard and will be repaid karmically in the future.
Real shyt… Portland did right by Dame. The basketball Godz gonna repay 10 fold! Good morning y’all 🤝🏾
— Kevin Garnett (@KevinGarnett5KG) September 28, 2023
The Blazers didn’t send Lillard to his No. 1 destination (the Miami Heat), but he reportedly expanded his list of acceptable landing spots over a week ago, and the Bucks were on the list. Portland found a package it liked and sent its franchise star to Milwaukee.
Sources to @andscape: With Miami talks going nowhere, agent Aaron Goodwin privately told the Bucks and Nets 10 days ago that Dame would be interested in a deal there. The Raptors were a real contender to land the ex-Blazers star, but ultimately Bucks got it done per Woj report.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) September 27, 2023
Lillard now gets to join a Bucks team that is built to win another NBA title, which would be the star guard’s first. After 11 seasons with the Blazers, his next chapter is finally beginning.
Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo are set to form one of the most talented duos in the entire league, with both players coming off seasons in which they averaged over 30 points per contest. The Bucks also have a good supporting cast, and all things considered, they should be able to quickly erase the taste of last season’s exit in the first round of the playoffs.
The Blazers, meanwhile, may be entering a full rebuild depending on what they do with players like Jrue Holiday. Holiday, a key part of the Lillard deal, is a candidate to be moved again as the Blazers look to get younger and maximize future assets.
If Garnett is right about Portland being repaid karmically, perhaps a successful rebuild is in the cards for the organization. The Blazers have plenty of young talent and will look to return to contention in the future with some of their rising stars leading the way.
In the meantime, the Blazers are indirectly playing a key role in the 2024 NBA title race. Their deal sending Lillard to the Bucks has already shaken up the Eastern Conference, and if they send Holiday to a contending team as well, the championship picture could change once again.
Lillard certainly did a lot for the city of Portland, and he now gets a chance to check a box that has been empty his entire NBA career: winning a ring.