The NBA world was turned upside down on Wednesday afternoon when star point guard Damien Lillard was traded to the Bucks in a three-team deal.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Lillard was shipped to Milwaukee in exchange for Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, a 2029 unprotected MIL 1st, and unprotected MIL swap rights in 2028 and 2030 to Blazers. the Suns received Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little, and Keon Johnson in the deal.
The 7x time All-Star will now be paired with Giannis Antetekounmpo as they form arguably the best duo in the entire league.
Following the acquisition, the Bucks overtook the Celtics as the favorite to win the 2023-2024 NBA Finals according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Here’s the new top five:
Odds to Win 2023-2024 NBA Finals
Milwaukee Bucks +360
Boston Celtics +490
Denver Nuggets +500
Phoenix Suns +600
Los Angeles Lakers +1400
The Celtics acquired forward Kristaps Porzingis earlier this offseason in a three-team deal that also shipped fan favorite Marcus Smart to Memphis. This was supposed to be one of the top moves in the East this offseason that helped lead Boston to Banner 18 this coming June, until the Lillard trade happened.
In Wojnarowski’s reporting on Wednesday, he added that the Trailblazers “remain engaged… on trade talks to move Jrue Holiday” to contending teams. which got some thinking that Boston could be in the mix for the defensive-minded guard.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania added that “Portland is going to be active over the next several days…to find a new landing spot, rerouting Jrue Holiday to another team… Teams like Miami, Toronto, Boston…”
So Boston’s in the mix.
Making the money work would be a tall task for Brad Stevens and co., but it’s not impossible. If they got it done, you’d be looking at a team consisting of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, Robert Williams, Al Horford, and Derrick White.
That would, for sure, compete with Milwaukee atop the East – and likely overtake the top spot as FanDuel’s favorite to win the NBA Finals.