Ben Simmons-For-CJ McCollum Trade 'Makes Sense' For Sixers & Trail Blazers, Say League Execs

 Ben Simmons complaining to the referee
Gettyimages | Tim Nwachukwu

The Philadelphia 76ers entered the 2020-21 NBA season with the goal of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship title. However, after finishing the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Sixers have struggled to play like a true title contender in the 2021 NBA Playoffs where they got eliminated by the young Atlanta Hawks team in the second round.

With their failure to bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy this year, multiple signs are pointing out that the Sixers would finally consider breaking their young superstar duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid this summer.

Ben Simmons To Portland Trail Blazers

Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid celebrating after Sixers' victoryh
Gettyimages | Tim Nwachukwu

If they would need to choose between the two, the Sixers are highly likely to keep Embiid and trade Simmons in the 2021 offseason. Despite his dismal performance in the postseason, Simmons is still expected to receive a strong interest once he becomes officially available on the trade market this summer.

One of the potential trade partners for the Sixers in the deal involving Simmons is the Portland Trail Blazers. According to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, league executives believe that the blockbuster deal that would send Simmons to Portland in exchange for CJ McCollum "makes sense" for both the Sixers and the Trail Blazers.

Trail Blazers Pair Damian Lillard With Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons trying to score against Myles Turner
Gettyimages | Pool

Swapping McCollum for Simmons would be an intriguing scenario for the Trail Blazers in the 2021 offseason. As O'Connor noted, replacing McCollum with Simmons as Damian Lillard's new superstar running mate would allow the Trail Blazers to create their own version of the Stephen Curry-Draymond Green duo.

"Simmons could be like a supercharged Draymond Green to Damian Lillard’s Steph Curry. For years, the Warriors have shredded teams because Curry would often draw a trap and pass the ball to Draymond, who could get to the rim or make a clutch pass to a teammate. Simmons would thrive in a role like that since Lillard feels the same type of pressure in the pick-and-roll."

Ben Simmons Could Excel Alongside Damian Lillard

Being traded away from the City of Brotherly Love to start a new journey in Portland would be beneficial for Simmons. Having a fresh start with the Trail Blazers could help him physically and mentally. Sharing the court with an elite three-point shooter like Lillard would also maximize Simmons' effectiveness on the court as it would make it easier for him to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when he's trapped by the opposing team's defense.

With Lillard running the floor in Portland, Simmons would also have the opportunity to work on his off-ball skills.

CJ McCollum Spaces The Floor For Joel Embiid

As of now, the Sixers must be aware that they need to surround Embiid with more shooters in order to unleash his full potential on the court. Trading Simmons for McCollum would help them address that concern. McCollum would give the Sixers one of the league's best three-point shooters, as well as a prolific scorer and playmaker.

This season, McCollum averaged 23.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.7 assists while shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. With his ability to space the floor and excel with or without the ball in his hands, McCollum could easily make himself fit alongside Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry in Philadelphia.