Source: 76ers Believe Ben Simmons Is The Key To Landing Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Philadelphia 76ers continue to try and figure out a solution to their on-going problems with All-Star Ben Simmons this NBA season and they have continued to monitor trade discussions league-wide.

Recently, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the 76ers do have interest in Pistons’ forward Jerami Grant, but Philadelphia seems to be content waiting on a potential trade until they can get the exact kind of value they are wanting for Simmons. 

Daryl Morey and this 76ers’ front-office are asking for an All-Star-level talent in return for Simmons and no team in the league is willing to pay said price for him. 

Drafted first overall back in 2016, Ben Simmons’ struggles on the offensive-end of the floor have been long documented, but he truly is one of the better defensive players in the league. Being named to the All-Defensive team twice in his career and being in the discussion for Defensive Player of the Year, Simmons can definitely contribute to many teams around the league right now, but a trade does not seem immediately on the horizon. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Sixers Interested In Trade For James Harden, Jerami Grant

It is possible that trade talks around Simmons could heat up again around the trade deadline in February this season, but the 76ers seem interested in moving their All-Star for Damian Lillard, sources tell NBA Analysis Network. 

Lillard has long been a potential trade target of the Philadelphia 76ers and all offseason long, the team tried to bargain with the Portland Trail Blazers for the MVP-caliber point guard, but Portland has not been willing to talk about any trade opportunities that included Damian Lillard. 

Throughout the offseason, there was talk of the Blazers’ guard wanting out of Portland, but he quickly shot these rumors down and pledged his loyalty to the Trail Blazers organization.

While they have struggled to begin the year, Portland is not actively looking to move on from Dame anytime soon and Lillard himself has said multiple times that he is not going to be leaving the Blazers this season, so we can probably count out a trade between Philadelphia and Portland at the trade deadline this season involving their All-Stars. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Sixers Interested In Trade For James Harden, Jerami Grant

However, if the 76ers wind up keeping Ben Simmons this season, they could very well look to re-engage trade talks with the Trail Blazers in the offseason should Lillard and the team fail to make it out of the first-round again. 

One of the biggest problems Lillard reportedly has with Portland is the fact that they are not a winning team and not in a position to win a championship. At 31-years-old and in the prime of his career, Damian Lillard wants to not only contribute to a championship-level team, but have others around him who are capable of competing at the highest-level possible. 

A trade involving Lillard may seem unlikely now, but if they lose in the first-round of the playoffs for the third consecutive year, we could very well see Damian Lillard request a trade out of Portland.

Who knows if the Portland Trail Blazers would be interested in Ben Simmons should he sit out the entire 2021-22 season, but he may very well be the best talent they could get in return for Lillard. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Sixers Interested In Trade For James Harden, Jerami Grant

The Philadelphia 76ers pursuit of Damian Lillard has not stopped and given Daryl Morey’s willingness to wait things out, it should not come as a surprise to see Philadelphia continue to inquire about Lillard’s availability.

About Brett Siegel 1348 Articles
Brett Siegel joined NBA Analysis Network as a credentialed NBA Insider and Journalist in 2020 after previously working with FanSided covering the Golden State Warriors and Louisville Basketball. For all up-to-date NBA news, stats and info, and any inquiries, be sure to follow him on Twitter @BrettSiegelNBA.

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