Lillard: Bucks trade 'came at the perfect time' of my career
Damian Lillard is ready to play for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The newly acquired superstar said the deal to leave the Portland Trail Blazers "came at the perfect time," according to The Athletic's Eric Nehm.
"I don't think it's a secret how much I want to win," Lillard said Monday. "That's how we got here today. ... And (the Bucks) want to win just as bad as I do."
Milwaukee acquired the seven-time All-Star at the end of September as part of a three-team deal with the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, and three future first-round selections. Lillard requested a trade from the Blazers in July.
The 33-year-old said he was interested in joining the Bucks once the opportunity came up two weeks ago, according to Nehm.
Lillard will team up with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The point guard anticipates a learning curve akin to when he played with All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge as a rookie.
Antetokounmpo said Lillard brings "another level" to the team.
"I need Dame to be Dame. And he needs me to be me," Antetokounmpo said about maneuvering the pick-and-roll.
"I feel like we are the same person, just different size. … We're built from the same cloth," he added, according to ESPN's Jamal Collier.
The move for Lillard seems to have appeased Antetokounmpo, who said in early September that he'd be willing to leave to pursue a championship run.
While he's waiting to sign a contract extension next offseason, Antetokounmpo is happy with the team, he said Monday, according to Collier.
"I want to be a Milwaukee Buck for the rest of my career, as long as we are winning. … The commitment from the team, for me, is there."
- Lakers win debut NBA Cup behind dominant performances from LeBron, AD
- theScore's 50 favorite moments of 2023: Fights, phenoms, and epic buzzer-beaters
- Kyrie suffered heel contusion in win over Blazers
- Kerr: Warriors are 'good enough to win a championship'
- Green, VanVleet combine for 51 as Rockets beat Nuggets for 1st road win