Grading the blockbuster Damian Lillard trade: Bucks become title favorites

Damian Lillard (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports)
Damian Lillard (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Damian Lillard is headed from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-team trade also involving the Phoenix Suns. Here’s a recap of how each team will benefit.

Damian Lillard and NBA fans have been waiting since early July. It finally happened.

After months of speculation, the Portland Trail Blazers traded star point guard Damian Lillard. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday afternoon that Lillard was heading to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade involving the Phoenix Suns.

Lillard had requested a trade from the Trail Blazers shortly after the NBA Draft. He hoped that Trail Blazers GM Joe Cronin would package the No. 3 overall pick in a trade for a veteran star. Instead, Cronin kept the pick and drafted G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson. Lillard requested a trade at the beginning of free agency and will be playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo as a result.

Damian Lillard is traded to the Milwaukee Bucks

Lillard getting traded isn’t surprising. Lillard heading to Milwaukee is what sent shockwaves throughout the league and social media. The Miami Heat were rumored to be Lillard’s preferred destination earlier in the summer.

It was reported last week that Pat Riley and the Heat were daring the Blazers to find a better deal than their offer reportedly centered around Tyler Herro. The Toronto Raptors were rumored to be frontrunners to acquire Lillard earlier this week, despite Raptors president Masai Ujiri reportedly refusing to include forward Scottie Barnes in a trade.

Instead, Damian Lillard is headed to the “Cream City” and will join the Milwaukee Bucks. Many have already anointed the Bucks as THE championship favorites.

Did the trade make the Bucks THAT much better? How do the rosters of the Suns and Trail Blazers look after Wednesday’s blockbuster deal? Who won the trade? I decided to grade the trade from each of the three team’s perspectives.

My grades may surprise you…