Despite failing to live up to expectations in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers are still not expected to immediately give up on franchise cornerstones Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Instead of breaking up the young superstar duo, the Sixers are planning to continue finding ways to build a roster that could legitimately contend for the NBA championship title. In the past months, the Sixers have already been linked to several superstars who are expected to be available on the trade market this summer, including All-Star shooting guard CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to Fadeaway World, the McCollum-to-76ers trade is one of the 2020 offseason blockbuster deals that could put Philadelphia "back in the mix." In the suggested trade scenario, the Sixers would be sending a trade package that includes Al Horford, Matisse Thybulle, and a 2020 second-round pick to the Trail Blazers in exchange for McCollum. The deal works on ESPN's NBA Trade Machine.
"McCollum is a beast on the offensive end, and can literally be the number one option on offense on any given night. C.J. can average 20 PPG in his sleep, and he was the main reason why the Blazers reached the WCF last year. C.J. fits absolutely perfectly next to Simmons and Embiid, who will have a third threat on an offense that can light it up from all areas of the court. The trio of Simmons, McCollum, and Embiid gives them a perfect mix of playmaking, shooting, and inside game. If the Sixers can pull this off, they are right back in the mix."Pairing Embiid and Simmons with an All-Star caliber shooting guard like McCollum would dramatically change the Sixers' fate in the 2020-21 NBA season. Though the change wouldn't make them an instant favorite to bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy, the "Big Three" of McCollum, Embiid, and Simmons would give the Sixers a realistic chance of beating powerhouse teams like the Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Milwaukee Bucks, LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers, and Kawhi Leonard-led Los Angeles Clippers in a best-of-seven series.
The potential arrival of McCollum in the City of Brotherly Love would tremendously improve the Sixers' performance on the offensive end of the floor and address their need for another playmaker and shot creator alongside Simmons and Embiid. This season, McCollum is averaging 22.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists while shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 38.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Though the potential deal is indeed a no-brainer for the Sixers, the Trail Blazers would definitely be foolish to agree to trade McCollum to Philadelphia in exchange for Horford, Thybulle, and a 2020 second-round pick. If ever the Trail Blazers decide to send McCollum to the City of Brotherly Love, they would likely demand the inclusion of Embiid or Simmons in the trade package.