Report: Milwaukee Bucks acquire Damian Lillard, ship out Jrue Holiday in major 3-team deal

David Akerman
3 Min Read
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Damian Lillard trade saga has finally reached its conclusion. In a pretty surprising twist, however, Lillard has been sent to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team deal involving the Phoenix Suns.

The Portland Trail Blazers don’t appear to be done making moves and aren’t expected to keep point guard Jrue Holiday. The team is seemingly committed to young players like Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe.

Lillard had been expected to be dealt to the Miami Heat after requesting to be dealt there nearly three months ago. One NBA insider even said early on Wednesday that there was a “growing consensus” around the league that Miami would indeed land Lillard.

Ultimately, Lillard did not get his wish. However, he will still be heading to one of the top contenders in the league. Despite losing Holiday, Milwaukee still has superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez to form arguably the most dangerous core in the NBA.

Lillard is coming off arguably the best season of his career, as he averaged a career-high 32.2 points per game to go along with 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. He also knocked down 46.3 percent of his shots from the field and 37.1 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

Those numbers were enough to earn him a spot on the All-NBA Third Team as well as his seventh All-Star Game nod.

With the move to Milwaukee, Lillard has a great chance of making it all the way to the NBA Finals for the first time in his career. The furthest he’s gotten in the NBA Playoffs came in 2019, when he and the Trail Blazers were swept in the Western Conference Finals by Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Lillard and Antetokounmpo have previously spoken about wanting to play with one another, and the two now form arguably the best duo in the league.

The Greek star put pressure on the Bucks recently by saying he wouldn’t sign an extension if he felt the franchise wasn’t committed to winning another title.

This move shows that the Bucks mean business, and it’ll be interesting to see if Lillard and Antetokounmpo can lead them to a title in 2024.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate who has experience in writing, editing and video production. He has been following the NBA and NFL for as long as he can remember.