The Milwaukee Bucks are headed into a somewhat surprising off-season. After their early exit from the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the Bucks moved on from their head coach Mike Budenholzer. In the wake of the early exit and new head coach for the 2023 season, many are speculating that the Bucks could make a splash move this off-season. That splash move may have just gotten a lot easier. The Milwaukee Bucks recently hired Terry Stotts, who coached for over 400 games in Portland.
Terry Stotts Hire Could Spell A Damian Lillard Trade
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel confirmed Terry Stotts is returning to Milwaukee to assist. This will be his third trip through Milwaukee.
Stotts, 65, first came to Milwaukee as an assistant coach under George Karl in 1998 and stayed on the Bucks’ bench until moving to Atlanta in 2002. After earning his first head coaching job with the Hawks for parts of two seasons he was an assistant in Golden State for one year before becoming the Bucks’ head coach in 2005. Stotts won 402 games and made eight straight playoff trips as Portland’s coach.
James Foglio of Basketball Insiders previously laid out a trade scenario that would send Lillard to Milwaukee:
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers retweeted an image of himself and Giannis Antetokounmpo in Portland jerseys, but the more ideal scenario is Lillard asking for a trade to Milwaukee. The six-time All-NBA member inked a two-year, $121.77 million max veteran extension with the Trail Blazers last July.
Lillard made $42,492,492 this season and is projected to earn $45,640,084 in 2023-24. More importantly, the guard exercised his $48,787,676 player option with Portland for 2024-25 last offseason as well. If a deal manifests in the months ahead between the two teams, the guard cannot be traded until July 9 due to contract restrictions.
The Trail Blazers or Bucks trading away their superstar will be a tall order. What general manager would want to move on from a player who just averaged a career-high 32.2 points per game in only 58 starts? Lillard dealt with an abdominal injury in the 2021-22 season, but he’s still one of the best players in the league today.
Likewise, Antetokounmpo averaged a career-high 31.1 points in 63 starts this past regular season. For one downside of such a trade, the Bucks would probably have to tear their team apart to acquire Damian Lillard. That’s not practical for a championship contender.
Bucks G.M. Jon Horst might have to package Jrue Holiday and/or Pat Connaughton, along with at least a second-round draft pick for the Trail Blazers star. This is not ideal for a team that finished with an Eastern Conference-best record of 58-24.
For More Wisconsin Sports:
Follow me on Twitter at @mcquadewarnold, follow us @WiSportsHeroics, and listen to our Podcast, The Cheese Dads NOW with Legendary DT Gilbert Brown! You can also reach out to McQuade Arnold via email at email@example.com. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in ALL of Wisconsin sports, click here! Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks.