Sixers Rumors: Damian Lillard Trade Saga Not Over Yet, Ben Simmons Crucial Factor

Published 08/08/2021, 3:11 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, USA – JANUARY 10 : Damian Lillard (0) of Portland Trail Blazers gestures during a NBA game between Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, USA on January 10, 2017. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


It was a bitter-sweet summer for Damian Lillard, who following yet another playoffs disappointment, was part of Team USA’s medal winning Tokyo campaign. Following what most would call a season of mixed emotions, Lillard is now at a major crossroads.Does he give new head coach Chauncey Billups a shot, or take his talents elsewhere?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

With the Blazers’ day of reckoning approaching, rival franchises, especially Philadelphia are watching. However, the 76’ers have issues of their own. Following a playoffs choke job against the Atlanta Hawks, Philly has remained unnervingly silent this till now in free agency.

DENVER, CO – MAY 12: Damian Lillard (0) of the Portland Trail Blazers inbounds against the Denver Nuggets during the second quarter on Sunday, May 12, 2019. The Denver Nuggets versus the Portland Trail Blazers in game seven of the teams’ second round NBA playoff series at the Pepsi Center in Denver. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Barring minor swaps like the one to acquire Andre Drummond, Philadelphia are right back to square 1, following yet another failed season with no roster improvements to show for! It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee for GM Daryl Morey, as another wasted season could potentially see a prime Embiid‘s mind start to wander.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Is Morey building a trade package for Damian Lillard?

While Dame has not officially requested a trade so far, chances are he’s on his way out given Olshey’s inability to make a big splash in free agency. And in this chaos, Philadelphia who have been eyeing the Lillard sweepstakes, look for a solution of their own.

With multiple trade offers for Simmons unyielding, given Philly’s requesting price for the All-Star a swap including other role players could be in order. Are the Sixers willing to leverage their roster & their future to close Lillard if he becomes available? That is the question Morey must ask himself as he (quite literally) reaches for the stars.

Considering Dame’s comments in the build-up to free agency, it looks like his thoughts have fallen on deaf ears. With Portland‘s major signings this free agency being Cody Zeller and Tony Snell, the Blazers window to retain the superstar is closing.

Read More –

This will fall as music on Morey’s ears, as Philly will aggressively bet on themselves to be Damian Lillard‘s favored destination.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Is Olshey interested in Ben Simmons?

With Olshey possibly holding the ace Morey needs to launch Philadelphia back into title contention, he’s got the leverage. Both Dame and Simmons are currently serving a similar contract which locks them in till 2025, supplying both franchises with security chip in case of a trade.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Do the 76’ers engineer a similar multi-team trade, sending Ben to his favored destination like the Nets did to acquire James Harden? Or does Portland drain Philadelphia’s entire young core and draft future as they potentially sail toward a rebuild?

Watch this story – Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons & Other NBA Players Who Will Be Trending During Trade Talks

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Nikhil Naik

170 articles

Nikhil Naik is an NBA writer at EssentialySports. Having completed his bachelor's degree in Hospitality, he has worked with the Indian Hotels Company Limited, at the Taj in Mumbai. Nikhil has been playing basketball since 2014.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT