ReGrade the trade: Trail Blazers still fleeced Bucks in Damian Lillard deal

Dame can win a title. Portland still won the trade.
Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers (left); Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks
Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers (left); Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
3 of 3

Regrading the Lillard trade

Ayton got off to a slow start in Portland but showed flashes of why the Blazers acquired him to be their center of the future. He averaged 23.2 points and 12.4 rebounds over his final 15 games, and at 25 years old, is young enough to grow with the team's core.

Camara was one of the most pleasant surprises of Portland's slog of a season. The 52nd pick in last year's draft started 49 games because of his defense and willingness to do the little things. Despite being a 23-year-old rookie, he doesn't appear to be a finished product, either; he hit 45.6 percent of his threes over his last 25 games.

The 2029 Bucks pick could be gold. Lillard will be 38 and Giannis Antetokounmpo will be 34 by 2029, assuming either player is still in Milwaukee. If the Blazers' rebuild goes according to plan, those 2028 and 2030 swaps could come into play. Portland also won't have to pay Dame the $216.2 million he's owed over the next four seasons, including $63.2 million in '26-27.


This doesn't include the haul general manager Joe Cronin pulled in for forwarding Jrue Holiday to the Boston Celtics, either. And considering Cronin was backed into a corner as the entire league knew he was being forced to trade Lillard, setting the franchise up for the future the way he did still needs to be considered a steal.

Blazers trade regrade: A-