Even though we knew it was eventually coming, the NBA was rocked by the blockbuster trade that sent Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, a trade that will make the Detroit Pistons’ job in the Central Division even tougher.
The Pistons now get to play a team with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard four times a year, so even though they weren’t involved, the Pistons will feel the impact.
For months there has been speculation that Lillard would be traded to Miami, which he named as his only preferred destination, putting the Trail Blazers in a difficult position.
But to their credit, Portland kept exploring all of their options, with Toronto named most recently as the team that was the frontrunner to get Damian Lillard.
The Bucks swooped in out of the shadows and some players in Miami aren’t happy about it.
Detroit Pistons: Jimmy Butler responds to Damian Lillard trade with accusations
Much of the NBA took to social media after the Lillard trade, but no one got more attention than Jimmy Butler, who kind of/sort of accused the Bucks of tampering.
I say kind of/sort of because to me it looked like he was joking around as a way of venting frustration over not landing Damian Lillard on the Heat. You can judge for yourself:
It seemed like Lillard to the Heat was a done deal, so you can’t blame Butler for being salty, but if he was serious, he’s probably barking up the wrong tree.
The Trail Blazers have been fielding offers for Lillard for months, with many teams at least poking around according to league sources. The emergence of a “mystery team” was reported over a week ago and Lillard made his trade request at the start of the offseason.
You can’t tamper with a guy who requested a trade and whose team is actively trying to trade him, sorry Jimmy. If anyone tampered here, it was Lillard himself, who said he might sit out if he didn’t get his way.
Also, it’s rich that a guy on a team run by Pat Riley, who is the grandmaster of tampering, would have such a complaint.
Like I said, I don’t think he was being serious, but even if he was, there isn’t much here to complain about. If Butler wants to blame someone, he should blame the Heat, who thought they had all of the leverage and overplayed their hand, tried to lowball the Blazers and eventually got left out because of it.