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#pounditThursday, June 20, 2024

Damian Lillard traded from Blazers to surprise contender

Damian Lillard in a Blazers jersey

Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard has finally been traded, and many were stunned to learn where the star point guard landed.

The Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday traded Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-team deal that also involves the Phoenix Suns, according to multiple reports. Star big man Deandre Ayton is headed to Portland in the trade.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shared the details:

The Blazers will received a return of Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, a 2029 unprotected first-round draft pick, and unprotected Bucks pick swap rights in 2028 and 2030. Phoenix gets Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson.

Lillard’s goal with asking for a trade was to land with the Miami Heat. He seemed to hint earlier this month that he was still hoping for that outcome.

While Lillard did not have a no-trade clause, it would stand to reason that he approved the deal to Milwaukee. He dropped a hint on social media several months ago that he would be open to playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo.

A report last week claimed a mystery Eastern Conference team had entered the Lillard sweepstakes. That team was likely the Bucks.

Milwaukee seemed underwhelmed by Miami’s trade offers all along and did not want Tyler Herro. It had recently become even more clear that the Bucks and Heat were not going to be able to work out a deal, which led to other teams getting involved.

The 33-year-old Lillard averaged 32.3 points and 7.3 assists across 58 games for the Blazers last season. The Bucks should once again be the favorites in the East now that they have added the 7-time All-Star to the mix.

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