The Milwaukee Bucks were put on notice recently by the comments from Giannis Antetokounmpo about him signing an extension and wanting everybody on the same page. General manager Jon Horst and ownership responded in the most epic fashion possible by trading for Portland Trail Blazers guard and superstar Damian Lillard.
With the acquisition of Damian Lillard, the Milwaukee Bucks automatically become an exponentially better team and NBA championship favorites, but for the upcoming season and beyond. There are no other ways around it.
While the Milwaukee Bucks lose some depth and sacrifice elite defense by trading Jrue Holiday, they more than make up for that by teaming and pairing up Lillard with Giannis Antetokounmpo. This is a trade that makes perfect sense for the Bucks in so many ways.
Big picture…this is a massive win-win for the Milwaukee Bucks. This automatically makes them the power of the Eastern Conference, let alone the entire NBA.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard are now NBA’s most lethal duo
Antetokounmpo and Lillard automatically become the most lethal duo in the NBA (and even a trio including Khris Middleton). With a shooter like Lillard, Giannis should never have to shoot another 3-point shot again.
In addition to the on-court fit, this helps shape the Bucks’ roster moving forward and down the road from a salary perspective. They will no doubt want to add another piece or two to the roster, specifically at the trade deadline and/or buyout market.
Not only will the addition of Lillard help open up the floor for Giannis, but it should also help open up and improve the 3-point shooting of Middleton, who now becomes the third option on the Bucks. Giannis and Lillard playing together will help address the perimeter shot-making, as well as the half-court offense problem that plagued the Bucks in both late-game situations and the playoffs in recent memory.
Imaging opposing teams now having to guard Lillard, Antetokounmpo, and Middleton, who will get to roam and shoot off the catch? The pick and roll between Giannis and Dame instantly becomes unstoppable and the best in class and should be feared throughout the league.
Giannis obviously becomes the best player Lillard will have ever played with in Milwaukee. This trade will motivate Giannis more than ever and is an ideal situation for both players.
While the Bucks will no doubt miss Jrue Holiday’s defense, the raising of the offensive ceiling with Lillard definitely shifts that. This trade will pay huge dividends come playoff time.
How teams spread their defensive capital with Giannis, Dame, and Khris will be extremely difficult. Throw in Brook Lopez’s ability to roll and pop and protect the rim on top of that.
The Bucks felt immense pressure to make a seismic change due to Giannis’ uncertain long-term future and status with the organization. With them landing Lillard, it would not be a surprise to see Giannis sign a massive long-term extension in the near future.
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