Damian Lillard is a Milwaukee Buck! Did Masai Ujiri refuse to trade OG Anunoby from the Raptors?

September 27, 2023
September 27, 2023

Dame Time has found a new home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired Damian Lillard in a three-team trade, pairing him with arguably the best player in the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo. This move has sent shockwaves through the basketball world, and we'll break down the details and implications of this trade.

In this blockbuster deal, the Bucks receive the main attraction, Damian Lillard, while the Portland Trail Blazers receive Jrue Holiday, who played a pivotal role in the Bucks' championship run just a couple of years ago, although they will be looking to move him. Additionally, the Blazers acquire Deandre Ayton from the Phoenix Suns. The Bucks also send their 2029 1st-round pick and unprotected swap picks in 2028 and 2030 to the Blazers. On the Suns' side, they are involved in this trade, sending Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Jalen Smith, and Dario Saric to the Blazers.

The immediate reaction to this trade is astonishment. Many expected a mystery Eastern Conference team to pursue Damian Lillard, with the Toronto Raptors as a popular choice. However, it turned out to be the Milwaukee Bucks who made the move. The Bucks recognized the need to provide Giannis Antetokounmpo with a star teammate, especially after Giannis expressed the desire for more help following his injury in the previous season's playoffs.

The combination of Giannis and Damian Lillard instantly makes the Bucks one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference, if not the favourites. Giannis is a dominant force in the paint, while Lillard is a versatile scorer and clutch performer on the perimeter. This duo could propel the Bucks to championship contention for the next several years.

While some may argue that the Bucks will miss Jrue Holiday's defensive prowess, they still have defensive stalwarts in Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The addition of Lillard alleviates the offensive burden on players like Khris Middleton, allowing him to be a catch-and-shoot threat. The Bucks have shown a commitment to building a winning team around their generational superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

As for the Toronto Raptors, they were heavily rumoured to be pursuing Damian Lillard as well. However, reports suggest that they were unwilling to part with OG Anunoby in the trade, which may have cost them the opportunity to acquire Lillard. This decision has raised questions about the Raptors' front office strategy. While OG is a promising player, acquiring a star like Lillard could have significantly boosted the team's chances of competing at a high level.

Overall, this trade sends shockwaves through the NBA, with the Milwaukee Bucks emerging as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. The combination of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard has the potential to dominate the league for years to come. For the Toronto Raptors, questions remain about their front office decisions and their ability to secure a star player to elevate the team's prospects. As the NBA season approaches, basketball fans can look forward to seeing how this trade reshapes the competitive landscape of the league.