NBA star Damian Lillard went to the Milwaukee Bucks as a result of a trade involving three teams. At first glance, it seems like the Bucks won by having both Giannis and Lillard, but the situation is a little more complicated than that…
Which team got what?
milwaukee bucks: damian lillard
Portland Trail Blazers: Deandre Ayton, Jrue Holiday, Toumani Camara, 2029 Bucks 1st Round Right, 1 Bucks Exchange Right
phoenix suns: jusuf nurkic, nassir little, keon johnson, grayson allen
Let’s evaluate the swap from easy to difficult.
The direct winner of this trade. Even though they had no draft rights and their future was mortgaged, they managed to break through the tight rotation they had. It is a huge task to send Deandre Ayton, who is openly unhappy with the team and whose trade value is in decline, directly by adding 4 rotation players. All of the incoming players are names that can be added to the Bradley Beal-Devin Booker-Kevin Durant trio. With a mobile center, this team could shut down the conference, or even the league.
Portland trail blazers
They restructured without going through restructuring. If he were to stay, Jrue Holiday would be the ideal veteran guard reinforcement they could make. A great defensive veteran who is still at the all-star level and trying to win, Jrue Holiday may be the best name for the development of Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe. If not, a name like him can be converted into a draft pick much more easily than Lillard, because while Lillard’s contract is a burdensome contract (4 years, 215 million dollars), Jrue Holiday’s contract is a 2-year contract with a player option for 1 year (1+1, 75 million dollars). dollar).
In addition to Jrue, Deandre Ayton is also a very important name. Being offended by the Suns does not detract from his value, Ayton is a very ideal modern big man when he gives his head, he showed this in the 2021 finals. He was about to leave last year, but he stayed with the team when the Suns accepted Indiana’s offer. Ayton may have finally found an environment where he can shine. The most serious problem for Portland in this trade is that only 3 draft rights were acquired, 2 of which were exchanges. But Jrue Holiday and Deandre Ayton are also players who can be converted into draft rights, and Ayton can make a much more serious contribution if he takes responsibility.
The hardest team to evaluate. The move they made is not wrong, but it is not clear whether it will be the move that will make them champions.
Last season, the Bucks finished 12th in the league in offense and 4th in defense, and they changed coaches after the Miami disgrace. The entire squad got a little older and the team’s offensive problems remained unresolved.
With this exchange, Milwaukee raised this ceiling.
Lillard is a seriously good attacker. but he also dropped the defense because jrue holiday is an elite defender. jrue holiday was the name that helped this team overcome the mental wall that it often experienced during the coach mike budenholzer era. This team became the champion in the season when Holiday arrived, and in the next season, when Khris Middleton was absent, Boston, the conference finalist of that season, could only surpass them with an incredible outside shooting performance in the 7th game (22/55, Grant Williams-Payton Pritchard 11/24 three-pointers). Holiday’s departure means that the only person who shows this maturity and acumen is gone. Damian Lillard will have a very serious responsibility here, he had some matches in Portland where he could not show this leadership. Although 2019 Oklahoma is the first positive example that comes to everyone’s mind, the matches of 2018 New Orleans, 2019 Denver and 2020 Lakers come to my mind. But it is also a fact that Lillard will play with a name he can adapt to for the first time. Khris Middleton is the name Lillard has been looking for for years at number 2. Middleton is the ideal name who takes responsibility in defense, does not want the ball in his hands in attack, but can handle it when necessary. With the presence of Jae Crowder, Middleton will move to number 2, which will take Lillard’s game one step higher. His efficiency increased last year when he was side by side with Josh Hart, and this time it will increase even more.
But the second and most important name of this equation is Giannis Antetokounmpo
Unfortunately, despite his magnificent physique, Giannis is the NBA’s superstar who avoids responsibility the most. Even though he was selected as the defender of the year, he does not match with the opposing stars, he does not play center even though he knows that a wall has been brought against him, he still continues to step from the three-point line, etc., etc., Giannis is a superstar who has a world of flaws in his game and cannot solve any of them (I am not saying he cannot solve them). Jrue Holiday’s biggest contribution was that he took on the dirty work that Giannis did not want. He was even matching with rival strikers, Jrue was facing Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant before Giannis, he had such a lofty mission. With the arrival of Lillard, Giannis no longer has this luxury. Because Lillard is a player who will not benefit like Jrue in off-ball play and will not take on Jrue’s defensive duties. Giannis Antetokounmpo will no longer be able to attack with ridiculous stepping because the ball will be in Lillard’s hands. Giannis will go to the opponent’s best striker because Lillard cannot match these names neither in size nor in defense. Therefore, his responsibility will increase and Giannis has not given the impression of a player who can handle that responsibility so far. During Budenholzer’s 5 years, the main problem solver of this team was Khris Middleton, to put it simply, Middleton is a player who should only do this in extra situations. Middleton’s game will also progress with Lillard taking this responsibility and his contributions to Lillard’s game. But Giannis will take more responsibility for his shortcomings. I think it is not possible for him to fulfill those responsibilities. We are talking about a player who has been playing well even with the Greek national team. If Jimmy Butler comes again in the playoffs, there is a possibility that he will hide behind Jae Crowder this time.
And the last part: milwaukee is an old team
As of now, Lillard and Crowder, who make up the top 5, are 33 years old, Middleton is 32, Brook Lopez is 35 and Giannis is 29 years old. If we put Giannis aside, it is doubtful whether the rest of this team can handle the tempo of the league in such a tight rotation. The main trademark of former coach Budenholzer was here, he could increase the rotation to 10 people regardless of who he was, and he even included names he selected from the back, such as marjon beauchamp and jordan nwora, in the squad. Will new coach Adrian Griffin be able to achieve this in the regular season, especially keeping Middleton, Lillard and Lopez fresh? This will be very important for this team. This will be a key element, especially with the NBA’s new resting policy, because Lillard and Giannis must play at least 65 games in order to receive awards and they cannot be rested in the same match, one of them will have to play. Griffin’s first coaching experience has become a hotbed of rage.
As a result, the two contender teams took a step towards getting stronger, while Portland solved the Lillard knot and set sail for a new season without tanking. I think it was nice to open the new season with such news.