In a shocking revelation, the Milwaukee Bucks traded for Portland Trail Blazers superstar point guard Damian Lillard on Wednesday, pairing him with fellow superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and likely taking the New York Knicks out of the mix for either player down the road.
The Knicks miss out on Damian Lillard
Lillard was a less urgent need for the Knicks, as the point guard position was addressed last offseason by the signing of Jalen Brunson. Though Lillard is one of the greatest scorers of this generation, New York never really emerged as a favorite to land him.
However, Lillard’s landing with an Eastern Conference rival in Milwaukee hurts New York greatly. The deal likely takes them out of the running to acquire or sign Antetokounmpo in the years to come.
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Does this take Giannis out of the actuation?
On the surface, one could argue that the Knicks bringing in Giannis was an unrealistic aspiration. But after his comments this offseason regarding the Bucks’ future plans to compete, the possibility of him getting traded before the end of his contract seemed realistic.
The addition of Lillard makes it unlikely that Antetokounmpo would force his way out of Milwaukee anytime soon, as he now has one of the top scorers in the NBA as a budding partner.
Is it time for the Knicks to turn their attention elsewhere?
If New York would still like to make a move this offseason, they could potentially pursue Jrue Holiday, who was dealt to the Blazers in the Lillard trade, but even that is unlikely to occur.
New York’s main superstar target is clear as of now, as it looks as though Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has the best chance of coming to the Knicks in the future. Nothing is imminent, but it will be interesting to see how Wednesday’s blockbuster in Milwaukee will affect the Knicks’ plans going forward.
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