All-NBA guard Damian Lillard will join Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee in a three-team deal that sends Deandre Ayton and Jrue Holiday to Portlandand JusufNurkic, and others to Phoenix.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the transaction announced late Wednesday night.
Milwaukee gets Damian Lillard, and Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, ToumaniCamara, Bucks 2029 first-round selection, and two pick swaps from Milwaukee to Portland.
Phoenix gets JusufNurkic, Nassir Little, Keyon Johnson, and Grayson Allen.
According to TNT’s Chris Hanes, bucks star Antetokounmpo gets the big-name running buddy he wanted.
The Bucks win because Lillard for Holiday is closer than some fans realise, and it puts pressure on Antetokounmpo to sign a max agreement to remain in Milwaukee next summer. He said he wanted to see a commitment from the organisation; well, here it is.
Lillard had advocated a Miami-or-bust deal, but he wanted to leave Portland, his only club, to join a contender.
He has that next to a top-three player. That should satisfy Lillard and Antetokounmpo for years. Longtime Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts is one of Bucks rookie coach Adrian Griffin’s top assistants.
However, replacing Holiday with Lillard will hurt the Bucks’ defence. That will put extra pressure on Brook Lopez and the Bucks’ coaching staff to remedy that defeat.
This must hurt Holiday, who had wanted to retire in Milwaukee after signing an extension. Holiday would be a fantastic mentor for Scoot Henderson, but expect the Trail Blazers to deal him fast (at least by the NBA trade deadline).
The 76ers, Heat, and Clippers will be among the teams interested in Holiday. According to Portland, a holiday with ill is simpler than Tyler Herro from the Heat.
The Suns had their stars—Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal—but needed depth, and this deal gives them Allen, a decent rotation player, plus Little and Johnson, two players attempting to get there.
Nurkic is behind Deandre Ayton, but he can play drop coverage and shoot 36.1% from 3 last season. Nurkic will aid in the regular season as an innings eater.
Ayton was upset with his quantity of touches and his position in the Suns’ offence in the past, but being the fourth option this season would have made it worse. His performance in Portland with a youthful club will be intriguing.