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Rumor: Sixers’ ultimate goal still a Damian Lillard trade

Damian Lillard Daryl Morey Sixers

The Philadelphia 76ers have had a rather quiet offseason, even amid all the Ben Simmons trade rumors. The Sixers are asking for a ton back in a Simmons trade, and nobody has been willing to meet that asking price. Ultimately it seems Daryl Morey would be okay with Simmons being back on the team.

Meanwhile, Morey still has his eyes on a bigger prize: Damian Lillard. Morey had his eyes on the James Harden situation early last season, and he has also been monitoring the Dame situation in Portland closely.

Via The Athletic’s Derek Bodner:

Since the Sixers’ season ended the team has similarly kept a watchful eye on the status of Lillard in Portland. From the Sixers’ perspective, it would be fair to say the goal is less to trade Ben Simmons and more to acquire Damian Lillard.

The Blazers have had a similarly quiet offseason. They did bring back Norman Powell on a lucrative five-year deal, but the other moves have all been small role-player signings like Cody Zeller, Tony Snell and Ben McLemore. That isn’t particularly inspiring given the pressure Lillard put on general manager Neil Olshey to significantly improve the team.

Lillard hasn’t made any trade demand yet, but one has to wonder if it’s going to come or if he’s going to give the 2021-22 season a shot with Portland. Morey and the Sixers are waiting to pounce if he actually does ask out.

In that case, perhaps Simmons could be a part of a Lillard deal, either going to Portland or to another team. Stay tuned.