The Philadelphia 76ers are still looking to move forward from the Ben Simmons saga whether it ends with him finally taking the court for the Sixers and moving on from all of the drama or they finally accommodate his trade request so everybody can move on.
The Sixers have had their eyes on Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard throughout this process and it does appear that that move could be possible with the Blazers firing GM Neil Olshey. Maybe that’s the move that pushes Lillard over the top of his breaking point.
However, if not, then going after C.J. McCollum would work as well. He is a guy averaging a little over 20 points per game while also shooting it well from deep on a high number of attempts. He would be a nice fit in Philadelphia.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor has come up with a trade suggestion that would swap McCollum for Simmons as Portland needs more size and the Sixers need more scoring:
To me, the big move is blatantly obvious. It’s doing what it takes to go get Ben Simmons by building a significant trade package around C.J. McCollum. Keep in mind that in October The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Sixers asked the Blazers, the Sixers asked the Blazers, for McCollum, three firsts, and three first round pick swaps. It was Portland, who denied but Philly made the offer so negotiations indicate at least that there’s some level of interest on Philadelphia’s end in receiving McCollum. Now, should Portland dump six future firsts for C.J. for Simmons? No, but that’s what negotiations are about and you hope to meet somewhere in the middle. And for the Blazers, Simmons could be an elite perimeter stopper against every position and though, he wouldn’t solve every issue, Portland’s defense would be much better.
At this point, the Sixers need some help for Joel Embiid. While McCollum is not Lillard, this is a move that would help both sides. The Blazers are a mess on defense and Simmons would immediately help in that regard while McCollum would be a big help to a Sixers team that is in serious need of an offensive playmaker and scorer.