Milwaukee Bucks acquire Damian Lillard from Portland Trail Blazers, immediately become NBA title favorites

Feb 17, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) calls a play against New Orleans Pelicans during the first half at the Smoothie King Center
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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email

To the surprise of probably no one, the Portland Trail Blazers traded star guard Damian Lillard prior to the start of the 2023-24 NBA regular season. However, few people could have anticipated the destination.

Instead of going to the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat, Lillard was shipped off to the 2021-22 NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, causing a major shift in the NBA odds. Portland traded its face of the franchise on Wednesday afternoon in a 3-team deal that also included the Phoenix Suns. In addition to Lillard’s move to Milwaukee, highlights include former Suns center Deandre Ayton going to the Trail Blazers and former Bucks guard Jrue Holiday landing — at least for now — in Portland.

Bucks become favorites to win 2023-24 NBA title

Prior to Wednesday’s blockbuster transaction, the Bucks could be found as high as +850 to win the 2023-24 NBA title — trailing the defending champion Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics and Suns at many sportsbooks.

Now, Milwaukee has immediately rocketed up to the title favorite in the NBA futures market. At DraftKings, this powerhouse team climbed from +850 to +400 to win the NBA championship, +330 to +165 to win the Eastern Conference, -230 to -380 to win the Central Division and +220 to +125 to be the #1 seed in the East. Are the Bucks now a great NBA pick to once again win the NBA title?

The Bucks’ new Big 3 now features Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis also figure to be in the starting rotation.

NBA title odds following the Damian Lillard trade

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Milwaukee Bucks +400
Denver Nuggets +475
Boston Celtics +500
Phoenix Suns +600
Los Angeles Lakers +1200
Golden State Warriors +1300
Philadelphia 76ers +1500
Los Angeles Clippers +1800
Dallas Mavericks +2200
Miami Heat +2800
Memphis Grizzlies +2800

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