The Milwaukee Bucks rocked the basketball world on Wednesday after it was revealed that they had successfully pulled off a sensational trade deal with the Portland Trail Blazers for Damian Lillard. Not too many folks saw this coming, with the Bucks not exactly considered one of the frontrunners to land the seven-time All-Star amid his prolonged trade saga.
As it turns out, even Giannis Antetokounmpo may have been taken by surprise.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Played No Direct Role on Damian Lillard Trade
NBA guru Adrian Wojnarowski recently dropped some eye-opening information about this recently concluded deal. In particular, Woj spoke about Giannis’ role in the landscape-shifting trade. Apparently, the former back-to-back MVP was not at all involved in the same:
“Directly, he literally played no role,” Wojnarowski said Thursday on NBA Today (h/t Julia Stumbaugh of Bleacher Report).
You would expect that the Bucks’ front office would have at least consulted their cornerstone superstar about such a move that will have major implications for the team’s future. As it turns out, though, Milwaukee’s brass had a very good reason as to why they opted not to keep Antetokounmpo in the loop.
Milwaukee Bucks GM Did Not Tell Giannis About Trade
Woj then went on to say that General Manager Jon Horst made the call not to inform Giannis about the deal for one very specific reason. It centered around the fact that Jrue Holiday was headed in the other direction.
“The relationship there, the reverence that this organization and these players have for Holiday, he did not want to put that to Giannis Antetokounmpo and have him have that on his conscience to sign off on it, or not sign off on it,” Wojnarowski said.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 28, 2023
Despite having spent just three seasons in Milwaukee, Holiday had established himself as an integral part of the team’s core. He clearly built solid relationships with his teammates off the court as well, which includes Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Woj is not saying that Giannis would not have given his blessing on the deal. Rather, the front office just did not want to give him the burden of having to choose between Lillard and Holiday.
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