Report: Blazers star Damian Lillard’s desire to play with Ben Simmons revealed amid trade rumors
The Portland Trail Blazers are at a crossroads after firing Neil Olshey. The Blazers need to nail their next hire and get the franchise back on track as they struggle on the court. One possible blockbuster move could be trading for disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, which is something that has been rumored for a while and a trade that has Damian Lillard’s stamp of approval, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick.
With the Blazers floundering at 11-13 and Lillard injured, the star point guard wants to see changes to the roster after a relatively quiet offseason on that front. The Athletic reports a desire to team up with Simmons, who hasn’t played for the Sixers this season. It’s unlikely he plays again for Philly, and he’s currently away from the time to work on his mental health.
A trade centered around Simmons and CJ McCollum is something that has been talked about quite a bit. Olshey did talk to Sixers president Daryl Morey about such a deal:
Sources say the Trail Blazers, under Olshey, discussed the framework of a trade for Simmons, moving CJ McCollum, a first-round draft pick and a young player such as Nassir Little or Anfernee Simons to Philadelphia. The 76ers, sources said, at one point asked the Trail Blazers for McCollum and multiple draft picks and multiple draft swaps, which Portland rejected.
With Olshey out of the picture and the pressure on in Portland, will the Blazers push to make this trade? Will Morey try to milk everything he can out of Portland to get this deal done?
Given how often this trade has been talked about and the solid fits of each of these star players if they were to move, it sure seems as if there’s a deal to be made here. Portland desperately needs to shake things up, while Philly needs to get a win-now player to help out Joel Embiid when he’s in his prime.