The perfect trade Sixers must offer Blazers for CJ McCollum
The end of the 2020-21 NBA Season doesn’t mean the end of basketball fun. The offseason will kickoff in a minute and this means fans will still get their basketball fix albeit in a different way. Yes. This means a potential CJ McCollum trade involving the Sixers and Blazers… maybe.
It’s not a secret that the Philadelphia 76ers will be actively looking for trade partners in the offseason. They made it clear that they will be entertaining offers and prefer to get an All-Star in return for Ben Simmons. This is where the Portland Trail Blazers and CJ McCollum could enter. While McCollum has never been an All-Star, fans and analysts know the truth: the guard is one of the best in the league today. The situation in Portland isn’t looking too shabby after years of playoff heartbreaks. This might be the time that the franchise makes a major tweak by putting an end to the McCollum-Lillard era with hopes of a fresh start.
Though a straight-up Simmons-McCollum swap could work. The Trail Blazers might want to get a little more extra sauce. Simmons is a great player but the hole in his offensive game will always be a point of concern. Portland might want someone with experience to further solidify their chances at making a deep playoff run. With that in mind, let’s discuss the perfect trade that the Sixers could trade for CJ McCollum.
Sixers receive: CJ McCollum and Anfernee Simons
Trail Blazers receive: Ben Simmons and George Hill
McCollum will automatically fill in the scoring void — a problem that the Sixers have with Simmons. Joel Embiid would no longer have to beg for his guard to shoot. McCollum is easily one of the best scoring two-guards out there. He has a deep arsenal too: pull-up shots, isolation dribbles, a reliable tear-drop, and a 3-point stroke as well. He’s pretty much the opposite of Ben Simmons in terms of swishing the net.
McCollum may well just be the perfect complement to Embiid’s interior play. When you have a dominant big man (whether in today’s era or in the past), it’s common sense to surround him with a set of players who have a reliable shooting stroke. It’s one of the fundamentals of basketball strategy. Looking at the current 76ers lineup, we see reputable shooters in Danny Green, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry. Then there’s Simmons who — despite having these mentors at his disposal — somehow never developed the confidence to toss up a jump shot in-game, let alone a wide-open dunk.
It would be understandable to surmise that for all McCollum’s talents on the offensive end, he might not make up for it on the defensive end. Simmons is easily one of the best defenders in the league not just in the guard spot. He can also easily move up to defend even the four or five spot at a high level. This aspect of his game makes it difficult to fully dismiss him as a superstar.
While McCollum isn’t noted for his defense, he isn’t a complete liability either. The man stands 6-foot-3, weighs, 190 pounds, and is built with a lot of heft. It’s not as if opposing teams can target him because he’s an automatic mismatch. McCollum has all the ability to stay in front of his man using his decent lateral quickness and strength.
Besides, the Sixers are a very good defensive team. Matisse Thybulle was recently named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. Danny Green is also a smart defender himself. And when the frontcourt defensive line fails, then there’s Joel Embiid who’s a three-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. In the future, he may even be crowned Defensive Player of the Year.
The Trail Blazers would have no qualms welcoming Simmons to their roster. The organization badly needs a defensive boost. This is the main reason for their failures in the postseason. A weak defense can take you far only in the regular season. But come playoff time, teams will find a way to pick you apart. Getting both Simmons and George Hill will do wonders for the Trail Blazers’ defense. A trip to the Western Conference Finals is certainly possible.
And if they do, then it’ll help in their mission to keep Lillard in the long term, maybe up until he retires. Lillard has been vocal about his desire to stay. This doesn’t mean that he’ll continue donning the Trail Blazers jersey win or lose. This is a signal that he believes that the front office will do everything they can to arrange a roster that could seriously contend.