The Philadelphia 76ers are still looking to find that championship formula that has eluded them in recent seasons despite having some big talent on the roster. The 2021 playoffs seemed like their best chance as the No. 1 seed, but they fell in Round 2 to the No. 5 seeded Atlanta Hawks.
Ben Simmons is the main culprit of the failures at the moment as he had another tough postseason run. He shot only 34.2% from the line and he continued to struggle with other parts of his offense. The struggles have led to the Sixers now taking trade calls on the 24-year old All-Star and they want real value in return for him.
A player who matches the “real value” description is Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard who may be on his way out of the Pacific Northwest. After nine seasons in the league, Lillard has grown frustrated in Portland and he wants a real chance at winning a title. The Blazers have only made it past Round 2 once in his career with the team.
Per Henry Abbot of TrueHoop, a trade request from Lillard is possibly coming:
Now a source close to Lillard says that in the days to come, he plans to request a trade.
If this is a surprise, you haven’t been paying attention. As an organization, the Blazers have been melting since their playoff exit. Coach Terry Stotts was cut loose. Sources say billionaire Jody Allen plans to sell the team. The Blazers are prominent in trade rumors.
It has been known that the Sixers have a desire to trade for Lillard if given the chance and this might be it. Philadelphia will gladly package Simmons along with Tyrese Maxey or one of the other younger players to bring Lillard to the City of Brotherly Love.
Assuming Lillard wants to go to a title contender, Philadelphia should be at the top of the list for him. He gives the Sixers something that they have been missing for quite some time and that is some elite shot creation from the perimeter and a player who can take over down the stretch of games. Pair him up with an elite big man in Embiid and the Sixers are back at the top of the East contending for a title.
It will be a tough deal to make, but Simmons offers something that Portland needs and that is elite defensive play as well as being a playmaker for the rest of the team. The Blazers ranked 29th in defensive rating per basketball-reference and a guy like Simmons can help fix that issue while also being able to make plays for guys like C.J. McCollum on the other end. This could be a deal that will interest both teams.