The Damian Lillard trade saga is over. The Portland Trail Blazers are reportedly sending Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade that also includes the Phoenix Suns.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the trade will see the Blazers receiving All-Star guard Jrue Holiday, first-round pick in 2029, and pick swaps in 2028 and 2030 from the Bucks. They will also get center Deandre Ayton and forward Toumani Camara from the Suns.
Phoenix, on the other hand, receives center Jusuf Nurkic, forward Nassir Little, and shooting guard Keon Johnson from the Blazers alongside shooting guard Grayson Allen from the Bucks.
The move is a clear sign of the Bucks’ determination to bounce back after a disappointing season and establish themselves as an NBA title contented once again. They now have one of the best duos in the league in Lillard and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and a capable roster around them that includes All-Star Khris Middleton and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Brook Lopez.
The Blazers, on the other hand, officially launched their rebuild. They added a talented center in Ayton while parting ways with Lillard, which also enables them to focus on developing their young guards, Scoot Henderson and Anfernee Simons. On top of that, they will get extra draft compensation as they are already having trade talks to move Holiday.
Finally, the Suns move from Ayton, who has had a troublesome relationship with the franchise, and get his big contract off their books. In return, they received Nurkic, who is considered a better fit for their roster and is on a cheaper contract. On top of that, Little, Johnson, and Allen provide them with a badly needed depth at several positions.
Damian Lillard spent all of his 11 years in the NBA with the Blazers. He made seven All-Star appearances during that time while being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. Lillard helped the Blazers to eight playoff appearances since entering the league in 2012 and led the team to the Western Conference Finals in 2019.