The Portland Trail Blazers have officially put an end to the Damian Lillard era, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Lillard goes Milwaukee as part of a 3-team deal with Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, a 2029 unprotected MIL 1st, and unprotected MIL swap rights in 2028 and 2030 to Blazers. Phoenix lands Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson. https://t.co/Ge0H91AiIA— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 27, 2023
The Blazers give up a massive haul in the three-team blockbuster, sending Lillard to the Bucks and Jusuf Nurkic, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson to the Phoenix Suns.
In return, the Blazers are getting former All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday, 2018 No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, rookie Toumani Camara, a future first-round pick and two pick swaps with the Bucks.
After a long summer where Lillard asked to be traded and preferred to go to the Miami Heat, the Blazers chose not to honor that request. However, Lillard can’t be too unhappy considering he’ll team up with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and the Bucks, who finished with the league’s top record last year before being upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Heat.
UPDATE: Fresh off the blockbuster trade, the Blazers remain active on the trade market in an effort to construct a deal around Jrue Holiday, according to Wojnarowski.
The Blazers remain engaged elsewhere on deals and will are expected to immediately engage contending teams on trade talks to move on Jrue Holiday, sources tell ESPN. Portland is committed to its young group of talented guards.
Holiday should fetch a valuable haul in return. The 33-year-old point guard is coming off the second All-Star season of his career, in which he averaged 19.3 points, 7.4 assists and 5.1 rebounds. He was also awarded NBA All-Defensive First-Team honors last season for the third time in his career, to go along with two All-Defensive Second-Team selections. Holiday was a key part of Milwaukee’s 2021 NBA title run.
Despite that illustrious pedigree, moving on from Holiday makes sense for Portland considering his age and the Blazers full backcourt of young guards. With Lillard gone, as Wojnarowski mentioned above, Portland is now committed to its talented young guard rotation, including rookie point guard Scoot Henderson, second-year shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe and 24-year-old guard Anfernee Simons.