NBA legend Charles Barkley boldly claims Damian Lillard’s arrival makes Bucks title favorites

The hype around Damian Lillard’s trade to the Milwaukee Bucks continues. Earlier analyst Stephen Smith explored the deal and made a wild prediction of seeing the Bucks team heading to the Eastern Conference playoff finals alongside the Boston Celtics.

Hours later, another analyst and former NBA player has joined him to explain what Damian Lillard’s deal would bring to the Milwaukee Bucks team, suggesting that Damian would be a great pairing with Giannis Antetokounmpo. Fans and enthusiasts can’t wait to see what this pairing will bring in the coming season.

Barkle thinks Lillard’s move tips the scales in Bucks favor

Damian Lillard was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in a major three-team deal that also involved sending Deandre Ayton to the Portland Trail Blazers and Jusuf Nurkic to the Phoenix Suns, among other pieces. Charles Barkley expressed his surprise during a special appearance on TNT in his free time because the NBA landscape has been shaken up.

Barkley said, “I am not totally shocked, I am shocked that he went to Milwaukee. It’s obvious that they will be the betting favorites now… They got a new coach, Adrian Griffin. He’s got a great team to start. It’s fair to say that the Milwaukee Bucks are favorites going into the season to win the NBA Championship.”

Throughout the two-month long Lillard trade process, the Bucks were clearly on the outside looking in. Before the Toronto Raptors entered the race, all eyes were on the Miami Heat. At the end of the day, the Portland Trail Blazers could only discuss with the Bucks about Lillard and agree to trade Damian to Milwaukee as the final destination.

Charles Barkley envisions on-court magic with Giannis and Lillard for Bucs

Barkley approved of the pairing of Giannis and Lillard, calling the Bucks the title favorites. He believes the partnership between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Dame Lillard will work very well if Giannis can find a better off-ball role in the offense, especially with the return of a healthy Khris Middleton.

The analyst said, “I think it can benefit both guys. Dame has always had to do everything by himself. It’ll be nice for him to play with somebody. Let’s not leave out Khris Middleton. The one thing Giannis will have to learn to do, and I always thought it was a weakness in his game, he’s got to learn to play without the basketball… When they won a championship, their pick-and-roll was Khris Middleton and Giannis. Now you’ll have Giannis and Dame? Man, that’s going to be explosive.”

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Via Getty

Giannis is a reliable off-ball option and hasn’t shown any selfish tendencies. While his usage rate was the highest in the NBA last season, the Bucks’ offensive struggles were primarily due to Middleton’s inconsistent health. With Damian and Giannis, both considered among the league’s best in their positions, fans and enthusiasts should expect the Bucks to be strong championship contenders. Share how you feel about this pairing in the comment section.

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