Damian Lillard is heading to the Milwaukee Bucks as the Portland Trail Blazers dealt him in a blockbuster three-team deal on Wednesday. The All-NBA point guard requested a trade from the organization in July and will now join Giannis Antetokounmpo on Bucks team that is now the favorite to win the 2024 NBA Finals at DraftKings Sportsbook.
But there may be an issue here.
Lillard’s preferred trade destination was the Miami Heat and remained so despite the Blazers reportedly not finding any of the Heat’s trade proposals appealing. Lilliard’s agent Aaron Goodwin warned other team’s that his client was only interested in playing in Miami and The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported earlier in the month that Lillard wouldn’t report to training camp for anyone other than the Heat or Blazers.
So what if Lillard does decide to no-show in Milwaukee? Well, he’d have to pay a hefty price.
When talking about James Harden’s situation in Philadelphia, CBS’ Jasmyn Wimbish laid out the penalties the star guard could face if he were to hold out:
“Aside from that penalty Harden could face down the road, if he does hold out and he misses games, he stands to be fined 1/96.1th of his base salary per game missed, per the CBA. That includes the “exhibition, regular-season, play-in and playoff” games, the CBA says. That amounts to $389,082.97 per missed game on Harden’s $35.6M deal.
For missing practice, Harden would be fined $2,500 for the first, $5,000 for the second, $7,500 for the third, and for fourth and beyond an amount “reasonable under the circumstances,” per the CBA.”
That could potentially mean massive fines for Lillard, whose base salary will be $45,640,084 for the upcoming 2023-24 season. However, Lillard has publicly expressed an interest in playing with Giannis in the past, so he may very well play along and try to help the Bucks win a title this season.