Provided you follow basketball ,and haven't been living under a rock, Damian Lillard was traded on 9/27 from the Portland Trailblazers to the Milwaukee Bucks. In terms of losses for the bucks, they lose out on up to three first round picks, All-Defensive guard Jrue Holiday, and well known NBA role model, Grayson Allen. But now that the NBA front runners just brought in a consistent All-Star and the former MVP of the bubble, what does it mean for the rest of the NBA?
The Milwaukee Bucks
Honestly, I'm not sure if Milwaukee won this trade. Lillard is an exceptionally great offensive player, every NBA team knows he could erupt for 30-40 points whenever he feels like it. On the surface, the Bucks easily win the trade. You're sometime stagnant offense (which is why you lost to the Heat) gains a elite scorer who can get a bucket when your team goes cold. You also pair up your franchise star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, with a guy who can help send him on the path to another championship.
What you lose though, is what made the Bucks so horrifying: their defense. The Bucks defense had multiple threats that made it a nightmare to try and score on them. Holiday would lock on whoever they best guard of the opponent was and would try to neutralize them, Giannis and Brook Lopez (Both all defensive players in recent years) control the paint, and Grayson Allen would injure the opponents best player. On a serious note, Allen provided a very consistent and solid defensive presence with the ability to score when needed.
With moving Holiday and Allen, while you gain a prolific scorer, you lose a massive defensive advantage. Holiday is more than likely the second or third best backcourt defender in the NBA next to Marcus Smart. However, with the Celtics getting Kristaps Porzingis and other teams in the East beefing up their rosters, the Bucks needed to make a move. This move solved their worst problem, but also weekend their greatest strength.
The Portland Trailblazers
Frankly, you should have moved Lillard sooner. If you managed to trade him prior to the draft, you could have had far superior capital and landed a bonafide young superstar. You get a fully guaranteed first round pick, and the rights to two more through swaps, but that is mediocre. Jrue holiday is a excellent player, but he is not worth a dime to you now. If I'm the 76ers, I'd be calling up Portland right now.
I don't have much to say on the Portland side of this trade. The best phrase would be "Better late than never" The Trailblazers could have gotten much more if Lillard was moved earlier, but didn't get completely fleeced.
If the Bucks weren't already a the favorite, they are now. The Celtics are good, and are probably the only team that can contend with them in the East. The Bucks biggest issue was solved, and while it weakened their defense, this is a move that will overall make them much scarier. The Celtics traded one of the few men defensively capable of locking Damian Lillard, that being Marcus Smart.
The Western conference is a different story completely, but given they are irrelevant till the finals, there's no need to cover it. All you need to know, is that Jayson Tatum Vs Giannis Antetokounmpo in the ECF might be the new Curry vs LeBron. I'm talking year after year. There is just no team stopping them.
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