The Portland Trail Blazers have long been rumored as a logical trade destination for disgruntled star Ben Simmons. However, the Philadelphia 76ers’ trade demands seem to border on the illogical side.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Sixers and Blazers indeed engaged in recent trade talks. However, the asking price for Ben Simmons was reportedly much too steep.
Along with a potential package centered around CJ McCollum, the Sixers also asked for three first-round picks and three pick swaps, which amounts to virtually six years of draft pick control.
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— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 8, 2021
It’s hard to see the Blazers parting with CJ McCollum so easily. Aside from being a borderline star, particularly on the offensive side of the floor, he’s extremely close to Damian Lillard. The move could expedite Dame’s exit should the experiment fail.
Swapping one of their leaders for Ben Simmons whilst also letting go of a ton of draft capital should the plan backfire feels like a massive gamble for Portland
But as the season draws closer and closer, perhaps the Sixers’ stance softens to avoid a potentially awkward locker room situation. Ben Simmons has said to have emptied out his Philadelphia home and has “mentally checked out” from his old team.
Perhaps the Blazers can still eventually be the team to swoop in once the dust finally settles. They’re not trading three firsts and three swaps to do it, though.