The Bucks’ roster following the Damian Lillard trade

The Bucks’ roster following the Damian Lillard trade

The Milwaukee Bucks have officially paired two-time Kia MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo with veteran NBA All-Star Damian Lillard in a blockbuster trade announced on Wednesday evening.

With this move, the Bucks join an elite group of four teams that have multiple players from the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team on their roster. The Lakers, Warriors, and Clippers are the other three teams in this exclusive category.

Fans can anticipate the first regular-season appearance of this star duo on Thursday, October 26, when they face the Philadelphia 76ers at 7:30 ET, with the game broadcast on TNT. In the meantime, let’s take a look at how the new coach, Adrian Griffin, might adjust the starting lineup.

Damian Lillard is set to join the Milwaukee Bucks, playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, in a trade deal that marks the end of his remarkable 11-year tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers. This move comes after a three-month saga during which Lillard expressed his desire to be traded in pursuit of an NBA championship. The trade is a three-team deal that also involves the Phoenix Suns.

In this trade, the seven-time All-Star, a player of such high caliber that he was selected for the NBA’s 75th anniversary team, transitions from the Trail Blazers to the Bucks. The deal includes Jrue Holiday moving from the Bucks to Portland, Deandre Ayton moving from Phoenix to Portland, and Jusuf Nurkic moving from the Blazers to the Suns. This information comes from a source who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, as none of the involved teams had officially announced the agreement at the time.

Here is the projected starting five for the Milwaukee Bucks:

1. Damian Lillard
2. Pat Connaughton
3. Khris Middleton
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo
5. Brook Lopez

Key reserves for the team include:

1. Robin Lopez
2. Marjon Beauchamp
3. Malik Beasley
4. Jae Crowder
5. Goran Dragic
6. Bobby Portis

Full roster

Here is the complete Milwaukee Bucks roster heading into training camp after acquiring Damian Lillard:

   Guards:
1. Malik Beasley
2. Pat Connaughton
3. Goran Dragic
4. AJ Green
5. Andre Jackson Jr.
6. Damian Lillard
7. Lindell Wigginton

   Forwards:
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
2. Thanasis Antetokounmpo
3. Marjon Beauchamp
4. Jae Crowder
5. Chris Livington
6. Khris Middleton
7. Bobby Portis

    Centers:
1. Meyers Leonard
2. Brook Lopez
3. Robin Lopez

Damian Lillard is a highly accomplished NBA player, boasting a seven-time All-Star status and earning the Kia Rookie of the Year award for the 2012-13 season. In his recent season with the Trail Blazers, he averaged an impressive 32.2 points per game. Additionally, he has been recognized as an All-NBA selection on seven occasions.

The Bucks' roster following the Damian Lillard trade

Hailing from Oakland, California, the 33-year-old guard had a remarkable 71-point game during the past season against the Houston Rockets, a feat achieved by only seven players in NBA history.

Lillard also secured an Olympic gold medal alongside his new teammate, Khris Middleton. Now, he’s set his sights on winning an NBA championship, a significant milestone that has eluded him thus far in his career.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract is in effect until the 2024-25 season, and he holds a player option for the 2025-26 season. The Bucks’ move to acquire Damian Lillard signals their commitment to building a strong team. It also prevents Lillard from joining Miami, a significant Eastern Conference rival of the Bucks.

When Damian Lillard’s trade request became public knowledge while he was with the Blazers, the team’s general manager, Joe Cronin, expressed his willingness to do what’s best for the team, albeit reluctantly, in an effort to accommodate Lillard’s wishes.

Ultimately, the trade with the Bucks is what both Joe Cronin and the Blazers determined to be the best course of action for all parties involved. Facilitating this trade required a significant package, particularly because Damian Lillard is owed a substantial sum over the next four years. In the upcoming season alone, he is set to earn nearly $46 million, and if he exercises his option for the 2026-27 season, he could potentially earn as much as $216 million.

This substantial investment is likely to prove worthwhile, as acquiring Lillard is expected to strengthen the Bucks’ chances of contending for an NBA championship. Lillard showcased his scoring prowess by averaging 32.2 points per game in the previous season, maintaining a streak of at least 24 points per game over the last eight seasons. His offensive firepower is a rare asset in the NBA.

Lillard etched his name in NBA history by becoming only the seventh player to score over 70 points in a single game, achieving this feat with 71 points against the Houston Rockets on February 26. The other luminaries on this list include Wilt Chamberlain (who accomplished it five times), Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, David Robinson, Elgin Baylor, and Donovan Mitchell. Notably, all the other players were between the ages of 23 and 28 when they achieved their games of 71 points or more, while Lillard, at the age of 32, showed that he is far from past his prime.

While Lillard has consistently performed at a high level, the same cannot be said for the Blazers, and it appears he didn’t anticipate a change in their fortunes anytime soon.

Damian Lillard was a beloved figure in Portland, but speculation about his future with the team became more intense when the Blazers chose point guard Scoot Henderson with the No. 3 overall pick in the June draft instead of using the pick to acquire an established player who could immediately elevate the team to championship contention.

During Lillard’s 11 seasons with the Blazers, the team’s playoff success was limited, with just four playoff series victories and one appearance in the Western Conference Finals. In the past season, the Blazers finished with a record of 33-49, marking the second consecutive year they missed the playoffs by a significant margin.

It’s important to note that the team’s struggles were not attributed to Lillard. He boasts a career scoring average of 25.2 points per game, a figure that ranks 11th among all NBA players who have appeared in at least 500 games. Lillard has also recorded 17 games with at least 50 points in his career, including two in the playoffs. He has received accolades such as Rookie of the Year, Teammate of the Year, and the NBA’s Citizenship Award.

Furthermore, Lillard has a list of accomplishments that includes an Olympic gold medal, being the unanimous MVP of the seeding games during the “bubble” season at Walt Disney World in 2020 during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and winning the 3-point contest at the All-Star weekend in February.

One of the most memorable moments in Lillard’s career is his series-winning shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2019 NBA playoffs. It was a remarkable stepback 3-pointer over Paul George from nearly 40 feet as time expired, a moment that is not only iconic in Portland history but in NBA history as well.

The information provided includes contributions from The Associated Press.