NBA Trade Winners: Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers’ decision to trade Lillard to Milwaukee and not to the Miami Heat shook up the NBA. Even then, they didn’t actually receive all that much back from the Bucks. Holiday, a 2029 first-round pick, two pick swaps, and Deandre Ayton from the Phoenix Suns is a good haul, but not necessarily great.
However, the trade was done with the understanding that they could flip Holiday to another team and possibly even flip some of the players they received for him for even more assets. This deal does just that, with them receiving two firsts, Robert Williams, Malcolm Brogdon, and Toumani Camara. That would make the initial three-team deal Portland made look much better in retrospect.
Three firsts, two pick swaps, and two starting centers in Ayton and Williams would help them justify their decision not to trade Lillard to his team of choice. As a result, they are definitely trade winners. The Blazers could even potentially re-trade Williams and Brogdon to other teams for first-round picks. Great series of moves by the Blazers.