After once again failing to make the Eastern Conference Finals with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons leading the charge, the Philadelphia 76ers appear to eyeing a blockbuster trade to make things work.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Sixers are “hoping for an opportunity” to acquire Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. O’Connor noted that Simmons is believed to be the centerpiece of any trade on the Sixers’ end.
But O’Connor also noted that despite his All-Star status, Simmons’ recent playoff struggles have lowered his value. As a result, the Sixers will likely have to offer “quite a bit more” to pry Lillard out of Portland.
“The natural assumption is a Lillard trade offer would revolve around Ben Simmons, who would then get a fresh start in Portland,” O’Connor wrote. “Of course, while Simmons is a young All-Star, his playoff flameout and Lillard’s continued ascendance means the Sixers would have to include quite a bit more in a trade. But after such an epic playoff collapse, Morey should be willing to go all in on a Lillard-Joel Embiid duo.”
The Clippers showed what they can do without Kawhi Leonard by going six games in the West Finals. Imagine what they can do next year with him, following an offseason that could see lots of player movement. New @ringer story on LA’s pivotal summer ahead: https://t.co/Xc2N9OXmJc
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) July 1, 2021
Damian Lillard has been a superb scorer for years, but has really entered the “elite” category over the past two. He had a career-high 30 points per game in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season. This past year he averaged 28.8 points a game – the second-highest of his career.
But the Philadelphia 76ers are far from the only team interested in trading for Damian Lillard. And they’re hardly the only team with the capital to get him either.
Will the Sixers pull off a blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard this year? Will they move on from Ben Simmons?