The Milwaukee Bucks have become the favorites to lift the 2023-24 NBA title after trading for star point guard Damian Lillard, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The Bucks were already among the top contenders, but have leapfrogged the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics at the top of the odds table.
Lillard, who averaged 32.2 points per game last season, finally demanded a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers this offseason. Lillard’s priority was to join the Miami Heat, but the team couldn’t deliver the assets necessary to satisfy Portland. Milwaukee stepped in and landed the star, changing the NBA picture heading into the 2023-24 season. The Bucks saw what could happen to them if Giannis Antetokounmpo goes down with an injury, and decided they needed a true second superstar. They get that with Lillard.
The Bucks did part with Jrue Holiday as part of the deal, and his defense will be something the team will miss. Holiday was an excellent starter and was part of the 2021 team that won the title, so that’s a tough move for fans. However, the Bucks are committed to making the most of Antetokounmpo’s window and made an upgrade.
The Nuggets remain near the top of the board at +475, and the Celtics look to be Milwaukee’s top competition at +500. The Phoenix Suns, who were the third team in this deal, are now +650 and the Los Angeles Lakers round out the top five at +1200.