This offseason for the Milwaukee Bucks is incredibly important. The team is coming off of an embarrassing first round exit in the playoffs, after finishing the regular season with the best record in the entire NBA. The Bucks started this offseason hiring a new head coach, former longtime Raptors assistant, Adrian Griffin.
Griffin was a bit of a shocking hire, but given his praise around the league as the top assistant under Nick Nurse in Toronto should give the Bucks fans, hope. Griffin, as well is known to be a coach who is very good at player relationships, which is extremely important in today’s NBA.
With that being said, most Bucks fan expect the team to run it back with the same squad this next season by bringing back Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton in free agency this summer. While that is still the most likely outcome, let’s not rule out the possibility of a huge move by the Bucks occurring this summer.
The Big Move
That move could be landing 7x All Star, superstar guard, Damian Lillard.
Lillard, has hinted about playing with Giannis multiple times on social media and in interviews. The dominant duo of an elite shot maker and clutch shooter in Lillard, would complement Antetokounmpo’s elite inside game beautifully.
Lillard is also known to have a great relationship with new Bucks head coach, Adrian Griffin which would help the case of Lillard wanting to make the move to Milwaukee. Also add in the fact that Griffin is looking to add former Blazers head coach, Terry Stotts to his staff as an assistant coach. Stotts was Damian Lillard’s head coach for the first nine years of his career.
Yes, the Bucks are looking to add Stotts because he has a great coaching pedigree, which is great to have on a coaching staff. But, is it not a pretty enticing for Lillard to come to Milwaukee, when two potential coaches are on the team know him very well and then having Giannis, an elite player he wants to play with? The potential of multiple championships is one trade away, Dame…
Now what would it take to land Damian Lillard in a trade?
Obviously, either Jrue Holiday or Khris Middleton would have to be traded away to Portland to meet salaries and so Portland can still get a very good player back in return. It would be a very tough decision for the Bucks to pick which one to deal away. Losing Holiday, makes the defense more vulnerable but losing Middleton loses offensive scoring power and creates question marks at the small forward position.
While weighing out the options the best move for the Bucks would be dealing Middleton, Grayson Allen/Marjoun Beauchamp and a future first round pick in 2029. While that probably is not be enough in return for the Blazers to move Lillard. But, if Lillard wants to move on to Milwaukee the Blazers most likely will want to show respect to his wishes given the loyalty Lillard has brought to Portland his entire career.
Middleton is a pending free agent so this would most likely result in a sign and trade deal where he signs a deal with Portland in this potential trade. And, there’s still potential the trade could feature a third team who lands Middleton. As if Portland is going into rebuild mode they may not want a 31 year-old to lead their team.
While making this trade would leave a hole at the small forward position for the Bucks, it ultimately will increase the fire power the Bucks can feature come playoff time, with featuring an elite closer in Lillard who is nowhere near the inconsistency of Middleton’s scoring. The Bucks’ defense would not hinder either as Jrue could spend even more time focusing on defense with the addition of such a dominant offensive weapon in Lillard.
The Bucks most likely will run it back with the same roster, especially with Middleton being apart of the new head coaching decision the Bucks made. But, there are some other moves being made that still point at the potential of shuffling the Greek Freak’s new running mate to a player like, Dame Time.