If the Portland Trail Blazers suffer another huge disappointment in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors surrounding Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and their future with the team are expected to heat up this fall. Instead of being stuck in mediocrity, the Trail Blazers could finally decide to break up their explosive backcourt duo and undergo a major roster overhaul. In the potential deal involving their superstars, one of the most intriguing partners for Portland in the 2020 offseason is the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Sixers also have a superstar duo in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. However, like the Trail Blazers, they are also not considered one of the favorites to win the NBA championship title this year. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Sixers and the Trail Blazers could engage in a superstar-for-superstar blockbuster deal that would send Simmons to Portland and McCollum to Philadelphia. To further convince the Sixers to make the deal, the Trail Blazers could also include a couple of young players and a future first-round pick in their package.
If the trade becomes a reality, Buckley is confident that it could help both teams fill certain needs and improve their rosters.
“In Portland, Simmons could help Lillard in myriad ways. The two would work magic together in transition and pick-and-rolls, and Simmons could silence the opposition’s top scorer while keeping the offense humming without Lillard,” Buckley wrote.
“For Philly, McCollum could handle the perimeter shot-creating duties while giving Embiid room to work in the post, and the youngsters could expand the rotation (either by logging minutes themselves or fueling another trade).”
Engaging in a superstar-for-superstar swap would make a lot of sense for the two teams, especially if they still want to remain competitive teams in the 2020-21 NBA season. Simmons would give “Big Game Dame” a new superstar running mate who could ease the load in terms of playmaking. The potential arrival of Simmons could also help the team improve their defensive efficiency, which currently ranks No. 26 in the league, allowing 111 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN.
Meanwhile, the proposed trade scenario is a no-brainer for the Sixers. In exchange for Simmons, they would be acquiring a more experienced superstar who is a better fit with Embiid. The successful acquisition of McCollum would immediately address the Sixers’ problem with their floor spacing. Sharing the court with an elite three-point shooter like McCollum would make it easier for the All-Star big man to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when he’s trapped by the opposing team’s defense.