In the past months, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star point guard Ben Simmons and his future with the Philadelphia 76ers. After taking most of the blame for their second-round exit in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, multiple signs are pointing out that the Sixers would be trading Simmons this summer.
However, the Sixers aren’t expected to move Simmons just for the sake of getting rid of him and his massive salary. In any potential trade discussion involving Simmons, the Sixers are highly likely to demand another All-Star caliber player that would help them become a more competitive team in the 2021-22 NBA season.
Sixers Could Swap Ben Simmons For Damian Lillard
One of the dream trade targets for the Sixers this summer is All-Star point guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. In a recent article, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report suggested a way on how the Sixers would be able to acquire Simmons from the Trail Blazers in the 2021 offseason.
In the proposed trade scenario, the Sixers would be sending a package that includes Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, a 2021 first-round pick, and the rights to swap first-round selections in 2022 and 2024 to the Trail Blazers in exchange for Lillard.
Ben Simmons-Damian Lillard Blockbuster ‘Massive Short-Term Ceiling Raiser’ For Sixers
Though it would also cost them Maxey, a future first-round pick, and two pick swaps, the proposed blockbuster deal makes a lot of sense for the Sixers, especially if they are serious about helping Embiid win the NBA championship title next year.
"For Philly, swapping Lillard for Simmons would be a massive short-term ceiling raiser," Bailey wrote. "Lillard is better right now, and likely will be for a few more years. But more importantly, he is a far better fit next to franchise center Joel Embiid, who has a troubling injury history and is creeping toward 30. If there’s a title window with Embiid, there’s no guarantee it’ll stay open long."
Sixers Replace Ben Simmons With Floor-Spacing, Traditional PG
Lillard would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Sixers. He would give them a traditional point guard who is capable of efficiently knocking down shots from beyond the arc. Though he’s not an elite defender like Simmons, Lillard is one of the best active scorers and clutch players in the league.
This season, the 30-year-old superstar averaged 28.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc, ESPN. Adding Lillard to the core of Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry would give the Sixers a better chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and capturing the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2021-22 NBA season.
Trail Blazers Undergo Rebuilding Process
The proposed blockbuster deal would also be beneficial for the Trail Blazers, especially if Lillard is no longer interested in staying in Portland. Instead of keeping a disgruntled superstar on their team, the suggested trade would allow them to turn Lillard into a young All-Star in Simmons, a promising player in Maxey, and future draft assets that they could use to speed up the rebuilding process.
Simmons may have disappointed the Sixers in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, but no one can deny his huge superstar potential. If Simmons regains his confidence and improves his three-point shooting in Portland, it won’t take long before the Trail Blazers start contending for the NBA championship title again.