‘Blockbuster’ Trade Proposal Sends Bucks’ Damian Lillard To Cavaliers

One NBA writer proposed that the Cleveland Cavaliers acquire Damian Lillard from the Milwaukee Bucks this summer. 

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Fran Leiva of Fadeaway World proposed the following trade idea between the Cavaliers and Bucks:

Potential Trade Offer For Damian Lillard: Darius Garland, Caris LeVert, 2031 first-round pick

Lillard averaged 24.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 7.0 assists for the Bucks this season while shooting 42.4% from the field, 35.4% from beyond the arc and 92.0% from the free-throw line. He’ll make $48.8 million next season. 

“For Cleveland, securing Lillard would mean not only gaining a proven playoff performer but also possibly increasing their appeal to retain Donovan Mitchell by pairing him with another elite scorer,” Leiva wrote. “The trade could balance both teams’ needs: Milwaukee could reboot with younger, capable players while managing their salary cap, and Cleveland could solidify their roster to better compete in the tough Eastern Conference landscape. This strategic exchange would be a pivotal move for both franchises, aiming to optimize their current assets and future prospects.”

The Bucks lost to the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2024 playoffs in six games. Lillard played in four games and averaged 31.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists. 

One of the best scorers and shooters in NBA history, Lillard has career averages of 25.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists with the Portland Trail Blazers and Bucks. He’s made eight All-Star teams and seven All-NBA teams. 

If the Cavaliers acquired Lillard, Mitchell would likely sign an extension this summer. The shooting guard can sign an extension for up to four years and around $200 million this offseason. He has a player option worth $37 million for the 2025-26 season.

Mitchell can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025 if he declines that player option. According to NBA insider Marc Stein, there is a growing belief that the Cavaliers will be forced to trade Mitchell if an extension isn’t reached. 

During the 2023-24 regular season, Mitchell averaged 26.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists while shooting 46.2% from the field, 36.8% from beyond the arc and 86.5% from the free-throw line. 

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