Damian Lillard Reveals He’d Like To Play With Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

Damian Lillard had some praise for Giannis Antetokounmpo following his performance in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 7-game loss to Boston in the 2022 NBA playoffs. The praise, though, came in an intriguing form.

Asked on Twitter who he would most like to team up with to make the finals, Lillard had a clear one-word answer. “Giannis,” the guard replied.

The comment comes at the start of a pivotal offseason for the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland sent away co-star CJ McCollum this past season and tanked their way to the top of the lottery. It’s clear that the team will need to build a contender around star Damian Lillard.

The feasibility of building a contender so quickly though is questionable. While Lillard is advocating for adding a star like Giannis in the offseason, it’s unlikely anyone near his caliber will be available.

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Even in Portland’s best years, the Finals have been out of reach, which is likely why the team took this season to shake things up. Lillard’s highest playoff finish so far has been a Western Conference Finals Appearance. Nearing the end of his prime, Lillard is likely looking to surpass that in the near future.

Lillard only played 29 games this season, coming down with an abdominal injury that required season-ending surgery. With plenty of time to recuperate, Lillard will likely be ready for the full-season slate next year. Portland though will need to find an adequate co-star to help Damian Lillard over the finish line.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the franchise face in Milwaukee and is signed through 2025. Having just brought a title to the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s clear Giannis is not leaving any time soon.

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Still, in Lillard’s answer, he may have hinted at the archetype of player he wants to team up with. Could Ben Simmons be a possible substitute?

The Portland Trail Blazers have a lot of questions to answer this offseason. While Damian Lillard is clear in his wants, it’s a whole other task to make them come true. The Blazers won’t be able to get Giannis Antetokounmpo, but they’ll need to find a co-star for Lillard one way or another.