It has been close to two months since the Philadelphia 76ers suffered a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and since then, not much has changed with this franchise throughout the NBA offseason. They brought in rookies Jaden Springer, Charles Bassey and Filip Petrusev, as well as having free agent signings of Danny Green, Furkan Korkmaz and Georges Niang, but the “elephant in the room” still remains for this organization.
What to do with Ben Simmons has been the key headline of the 2021 NBA offseason for the 76ers and they still do not have an answer on this. Simmons has been made available in trade talks since Philly’s season ended, but they are not going to be getting rid of him just for the sake of trading him. This has reached the forefront of NBA trade rumors.
The Philadelphia 76ers want a ton of value in return for their All-NBA 7-footer and they truly believe that they can get a superstar, top-caliber talent in return for Ben Simmons. So far, no team has been willing to meet the Sixers’ asking price for Simmons, but this will definitely not stop them from pursuing what they want.
Team president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has always been known to have a “go big or go home” mentality when he was the GM of the Houston Rockets and this same mentality has carried over to his position with the 76ers. He wants to do everything he can to ensure that the 76ers are competing for a championship, which is why Morey and the Sixers may be holding out on trading Simmons in hopes that they could potentially land Damian Lillard.
Things have not been going well in Portland over the years and this offseason was a mess not only in terms of replacing Terry Stotts, but appeasing their star player in Lillard. While he may say he is committed to Portland and wants to win with the Trail Blazers, the clock is ticking for Damian Lillard and it seems very realistic that this could be his final season in Portland.
With the 2021-22 season beginning in 67 days, it seems likely that both Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard will remain with their current teams, but could we see Philadelphia and Portland involved in a blockbuster deal at some point during next season? Let’s take a look at what a Lillard-Simmons trade swap could wind up looking like.