On Wednesday, it was announced that Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-team deal that also involved the Phoenix Suns. The trade to the Bucks, which afforded Lillard the opportunity to pair up with fellow star Giannis Antetokounmpo, sent shockwaves throughout the NBA world, reaching Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets within minutes of its announcement.
Porter was filming an interview with The Bread Basket around the time the news broke, and his reaction was equal parts surprised and (lightheartedly) concerned.
“If he goes to Milwaukee, they're a problem,” said Porter. “…Dame and Giannis is unreal… but that's good that they're in the east, so we'll see them in the Finals.”
Damian and Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo do figure to immediately become one of the, if not the best duo in the NBA. Michael Porter's Nuggets, of course, just finished winning the franchise its first-ever NBA Championship behind Finals MVP Nikola Jokic and star point guard Jamal Murray, in addition to role players like Porter himself.
As Porter mentioned, the Bucks are in fact in the Eastern Conference, meaning that Denver won't have to worry about them in the vaunted Western Conference playoff bracket in 2023-24. Still, it's certainly not difficult to imagine the two teams ultimately meeting up in the NBA Finals next June, at which point star power will be at a premium.
Of course, there is still lots to sort out before we reach that point, but the Lillard acquisition has definitely put the rest of the NBA on notice, if nothing else.