1695848675 The Bucks sign Damian Lillard who can finally aim for

The Bucks sign Damian Lillard, who can finally aim for his first NBA title

Damian Lillard has finally broken free from his cage. The NBA star has achieved what he set out to do: he is playing on a team that allows him to compete for the championship. The seven-time All-Star point guard was signed by the Milwaukee Bucks and will compete in the East alongside one of the league’s best, Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo, who already has a ring. The Portland Blazers received three players in the trade, the first pick in the 2029 draft and the right to two other new signings. A three-way operation involving the Phoenix Suns was necessary for Lillard to leave the West and put an end to the soap opera of his transfer, which had been one of basketball fans’ most watched dramas over the summer.

Lillard, 33, hasn’t quite gotten his way yet. The Oakland-born star, who also enjoys rapping in his free time, had been asking his team to leave since early July after a disastrous season that left Portland languishing at the bottom of the conference due to injuries. Lillard only played 58 games. It was the beginning of an arduous separation from the homeland where he has lived for eleven seasons and where he received the Rookie of the Year award in the 2012-2013 season. The point guard set a goal for himself very early on. He informed the management of the Oregon team that he wanted to go to the Miami Heat to play with Jimmy Butler, who lost this year’s Finals to the unstoppable machine of Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. This signing would have meant an even more complex cavalcade of moves than announced. “They need to check the Bucks for interference,” Butler joked on social media Wednesday after the move from Dame Time, as Lillard is known, was reported.

Damian Lillard in a file photo. Damian Lillard in a file photo. Jeffrey Phelps (AP)

With a three-point percentage of nearly 40%, Lillard will add depth to the offensive force commanded by Giannis. In return, Portland will receive former shooting guard Buck Jrue Holiday in addition to the draft picks; Bahamas center Deandre Ayton and Belgian winger Toumani Camara, both from Phoenix. In doing so, the Blazers begin to build their future around 19-year-old point guard Scoot Henderson, the third player selected in the draft who plays the same position as Lillard, albeit with less accuracy than Milwaukee’s new star.

A new era begins for the Blazers as they have sent the entourage that accompanied Lillard to Phoenix, including Serbian center Jusuf Nurkic, forward Keon Johnson and power forward Nassir Little. Grayson Allen is leaving the Bucks to play in Arizona alongside Devin Booker and Kevin Durant on one of the most dominant teams in the conference. The Suns lost the 2021 finals to Giannis’s Bucks and lost in the West semifinals two years in a row.

Lillard leaves good memories for Portland fans. Dame’s arrival meant the team was almost certain to make it to the playoffs. The Blazers made the postseason eight years in a row, starting in 2014. Their best year was 2019, when the group reached the Western Finals but was defeated in four games by the powerful Warriors of Steph Curry and Co. That same year, Lillard left perhaps his most iconic image on the court. This happened in the final seconds of Game 5 against Oklahoma in the first round of the playoffs. With the score tied at 115-115 and just seconds left on the clock, Lillard fired a three-pointer about 12 yards from the basket. The shot went clean into the goal and sparked absolute celebration in the Blazers’ packed Moda Center. When the camera focused on the player’s face, it could only capture a stoic face that didn’t bat an eyelid. Dame Time had set its rhythm. The time has come for Milwaukee.

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