The landscape of the NBA's Eastern Conference just changed dramatically.
The Milwaukee Bucks are acquiring Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a massive three-team trade involving the Phoenix Suns, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday.
Here's the full deal, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania:
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- Bucks acquire: Damian Lillard
- Blazers acquire: Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, 2029 first-round Bucks pick and Bucks pick swap
- Suns acquire: Jusuf Nurkic, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson, Grayson Allen
Wojnarowski added the Blazers are expected to trade Holiday, with the Philadelphia 76ers reportedly among the teams interested in the veteran guard.
The deal gives two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and three-time All-Star Khris Middleton an elite running mate in Lillard, a seven-time All-Star who averaged a career-high 32.2 points per game last season, a Blazers franchise record.
Lillard was open about the Miami Heat being his preferred trade destination this offseason, while several other teams -- including the Boston Celtics -- reportedly inquired about adding Lillard as well. Instead, the Celtics, Heat and the rest of the East will have to contend with a formidable Bucks squad featuring a loaded potential starting five of Lillard, Malik Beasley, Middleton, Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Milwaukee's blockbuster comes about a month after Antetokounmpo left open the possibility that he could leave the Bucks if the team didn't have more success in the future.
It sounds like Giannis' comments landed in the Bucks' front office -- with ramifications for Milwaukee's East competitors.