Damian Lillard is now a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, but he thought the trade wasn’t going to happen at first.
Lillard was traded to the Bucks on Sept. 27 as part of a three-team deal that took Grayson Allen to the Phoenix Suns and Jrue Holiday to the Portland Trail Blazers, to then be traded to the Boston Celtics just a couple of days later.
This summer was a bit tense for Lillard and the Blazers to say the least, as he requested a trade in July. His initial request/preference was the Miami Heat, which everyone thought would happen, but he ended up making his way to the 414.
Lillard didn’t think a trade to the Bucks would happen.
In an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Damian Lillard said that his agent gauged his interest in Milwaukee, and expressed that he could potentially be a fit with the reigning Eastern Conference regular season champions. But, he was skeptical that a deal would happen.
“I knew it was a possibility,” Lillard said. “I just didn’t think it was actually going to happen. So when it did I wasn’t fully surprised but it wasn’t what I thought that call was going to be.”
“I knew it was a possibility. I just didn’t think it was actually going to happen”
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) October 7, 2023
Lillard said that he would love to play alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, and said that his agent felt that Milwaukee would be the best fit for him basketball-wise.
It’s a trade that many thought wouldn’t happen or wasn’t possible, but Jon Horst made it happen. The Milwaukee Bucks look like legitimate NBA championship contenders, have made playoff appearances seven consecutive times and were atop the Eastern Conference with 58 wins in the 2022-2023 season, and that was all without Damian Lillard in the equation.
Lillard is coming off of a career year, averaging 32.2 points per game, eight points higher than his 2021-2022 season. His stat lines that he brings to Milwaukee will definitely be a boost to their already pretty productive offense.
While the Bucks ranked fourth and sixth in defense and offense last season, they weren’t able to produce in the playoffs, hence the first-round exit. However, with Lillard now in the picture, he brings that sense of impact that the Bucks were lacking in, respectively. Plus, the duo of Lillard and Antetokounmpo should already have players around the league nervous, as those two are going to be a path of destruction.