Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler makes big ‘tampering’ claim following Lillard trade - Hindustan Times

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler makes big ‘tampering’ claim following Damian Lillard trade to Milwaukee Bucks

Sep 28, 2023 12:30 PM IST

Milwaukee Bucks acquired the services of Damian Lillard in a three-team trade deal.

Milwaukee Bucks agreed to a three-team trade deal to acquire the services of former Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. The seven-time NBA All-Star had requested the Blazers for a trade earlier this year in July with a desire of joining the Miami Heat. That, however, did not happen as Lillard is now all set to join the Bucks. Following the move, Heat star Jimmy Butler has now accused the Bucks of "tampering.” Butler posted a video on social media requesting the NBA to look into the Bucks.

Jimmy Buttler (L) speaks on Damian Lillard trade(Instagram/AP)
Jimmy Buttler (L) speaks on Damian Lillard trade(Instagram/AP)

“Yo NBA man, y’all need to look into the Bucks for tampering… Y’all didn’t hear it from me, but I heard it from somebody,” Butler was heard saying in a video posted on Instagram.

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Jimmy Butler’s teammate Tyler Herro also shared the video on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “What he said,” Herro wrote.

Miami Heat’s desire to rope in Damian Lillard was an open secret and their failure to do so probably prompted Butler to make such comments. Defending Eastern Conference champions Miami, failed to win the franchise-fourth NBA championship having suffered a defeat at the hands of the eventual champions Denver Nuggets last season. Needless to say, Lillard’s prowess would have certainly bolstered Heat’s roster.

Talking about his move to the Bucks, Lillard wrote, “The casuals won’t be addressed but the Trailblazers fans and city of Portland that I love truly will be … and they will be addressed truthfully. Stay tuned. Excited for my next chapter! Bucks.”

While Damian Lillard moved to the Milwaukee Bucks, Deandre Ayton and Jrue Holiday are set to head to the Portland Trail Blazers in a three-team deal which sees Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson join the Phoenix Suns.

"Today is an exciting day for Milwaukee. When you have the rare opportunity to pair one of the premier NBA players with a highly versatile roster that has lofty goals, you go for it. And we're thrilled to welcome seven-time All-Star Damian Lillard to the Bucks,” Bucks president Peter Feigin and general manager Jon Horst said in a statement.

One of the most prolific point guards in the NBA, Lillard has spent 11 years with the Trail Blazers. The 33-year-old succeeded in averaging at least 24 points per game in each of his last eight campaigns. A report published by The Guardian stated that Lillard’s career average of 25.2 points is the fourth-highest among the active players (with at least 375 games), placing him only behind Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid and LeBron James.

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