NBA rumors: Bucks join Lillard hunt, Scottie Barnes unavailable, Warriors starting lineup

  • Scottie Barnes is way off the table in Raptors-Blazers talks
  • Warriors starting lineup will be determined in training camp
  • The Bucks are making a run at Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Damian Lillard vs. Milwaukee Bucks / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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NBA Rumors: Bucks show interest in Damian Lillard trade

Giannis Antetokounmpo has spent his summer laying the groundwork for an eventual departure from the Milwaukee Bucks, pressuring the front office to remain all-in, lest he decide to take his services elsewhere.

Is it then a coincidence that the Bucks have tossed their hat in the ring for Damian Lillard? Probably not.

According to ESPN basketball sage Marc J. Spears, the Bucks are among an increasingly long list of teams to express interest in Portland's disgruntled All-Star. It's a bit difficult to determine the Bucks' path to getting Lillard — it would have to involve either Khris Middleton or Jrue Holiday, two excellent teammates whom Giannis values a ton — but oftentimes in the NBA, where there's a will, there's a way.

Lillard would obviously boost the Bucks' competitive ceiling, which feels like the right goal for Milwaukee's front office after a disgraceful first-round exit as the No. 1 seed last postseason. Giannis essentially guarantees Milwaukee a place at the table, but offensive shortcomings have been difficult for the Bucks overcome in recent years. Lillard would boost the 3-point numbers and provide a more dynamic source of self-creation on the perimeter.

Odds are the trade would involve Holiday, as his value outstrips Middleton's by a fair amount these days. Holiday is a game-changing defender and he's no slouch offensively (19.3 points and 7.4 assists on 58.6 TS%), but limited 3-point volume and a clunky mid-range jumper tends to hold him back in the playoffs. Lillard is coming off the best individual season of his career (32.2 points and 7.3 assists on 64.5 TS%) and his offensive repertoire would pair beautifully — borderline unfairly — with Giannis' rollicking downhill attacks.

Next. 1 realistic Damian Lillard trade for every rumored suitor. 1 realistic Damian Lillard trade for every rumored suitor. dark