The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired All-Star guard Damian Lillard in a significant three-team trade involving the Phoenix Suns and the Portland Trail Blazers. As part of this trade Damian Lillard to Bucks, Jrue Holiday and Deandre Ayton are also changing teams.
The trade breakdown is as follows:
- Damian Lillard to Bucks
- Jrue Holiday to Trail Blazers
- Deandre Ayton to Trail Blazers
- Toumani Camara to Trail Blazers
- An unprotected 1st-round pick in 2029 (from Milwaukee)
- Unprotected swap rights with Milwaukee in 2028 and 2030
- Jusuf Nurkic to Suns
- Grayson Allen to Suns
- Nassir Little to Suns
- Keon Johnson to Suns
This trade has significant implications for all three teams involved. The Bucks, with the addition of Damian Lillard, have strengthened their roster in their pursuit of another championship, pairing him with two-time Kia MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. For the Trail Blazers, this trade marks the start of a new era, with young talents like Scoot Henderson and former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton leading the way.
As for the Phoenix Suns, they are transitioning from Deandre Ayton to Jusuf Nurkic in the center position as they aim for a championship run. Grayson Allen brings valuable floor-spacing and three-point shooting, while Nassir Little and Keon Johnson provide added depth to the Suns’ lineup.
The trade stems from Damian Lillard’s desire to compete for a championship, which he expressed after multiple meetings with the Portland Trail Blazers during the offseason. Despite his longstanding commitment to the Blazers and his aspiration to win a title with the team that drafted him, Lillard’s preference was to join the Miami Heat. However, this trade sends him to the Bucks, creating a formidable duo with Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract with the Bucks runs through the 2024-25 season, with a player option for 2025-26. On the other hand, Damian Lillard has a significant contract, with earnings of nearly $46 million for the upcoming season and the potential to make up to $216 million over the next four years if he exercises his option for the 2026-27 season.
Lillard, known for his scoring prowess, is coming off a season where he averaged 32.2 points per game for the Trail Blazers. He is a seven-time All-NBA selection and a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. Lillard has consistently averaged at least 24 points per game in the last eight seasons and holds a career scoring average of 25.2 points per game, ranking fourth among active players.
Despite his numerous accolades, including a 71-point game last season and an Olympic gold medal, the one achievement missing from Lillard’s impressive resume is an NBA championship. With this trade, he seeks to change that narrative and leave a lasting legacy beyond his basketball skills.