On Italian night Damian Lillard was surprisingly traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, in a three-team trade with Portland and Phoenix. The Bucks thus get the best player available on the market, beating out competition from the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors. Miami was always mentioned as the preferred destination for Lillard, but Pat Riley never wanted to sink the bullet by holding on to his assets rather than improving the initial offer. But Dame’s failure to arrive in South Beach, it is undeniable, leaves the Heat with a bitter taste in their mouths. For the umpteenth time, as the franchise has been juxtaposed with several superstars for a few years now without ever being able to secure one. And so Jimmy Butler, just shortly after the trade was announced, posted in his own Instagram stories a video destined to cause discussion.
“Hey NBA, you should investigate the Bucks for tampering. I’m telling you. I’m not the source, but I’ve been told things.” Butler said.
“Y’all need to look into the Bucks for tampering.”
– Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) September 27, 2023
Also echoing him Tyler Herro, the very one who in all likelihood would have ended up in Portland had the trade between the Blazers and Heat materialized. The player basically confirmed Butler’s words, adding no more.
What he said https://t.co/S6Diyx8s5z
– Tyler Herro (@raf_tyler) September 27, 2023
I wonder if now the NBA will seize this assist and do some fact-finding on the negotiations between Portland and Milwaukee. The tampering is an attitude banned by the NBA: it defines the behavior of a franchise that essentially talks “on the sly” with a player from another team without that team’s permission. Butler in short is accusing the Bucks of using some fast track to get Blazers and Damian Lillard to agree.