NBA Rumors: CJ McCollum & Robert Covington Could Be Traded To Sixers For Ben Simmons & Anthony Tolliver

CJ McCollum high-fives Robert Covington
Gettyimages | Steph Chambers

After they got eliminated in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, rumors have started to swirl around All-Star point guard Ben Simmons and his future with the Philadelphia 76ers. With his disappointing performance in the postseason, most people believe that the Sixers would explore trading the former No. 1 overall pick this summer.

However, the Sixers aren't expected to move Simmons just for the sake of getting him out of the City of Brotherly Love. If they decide to trade him, it would be in a deal that would allow them to build a more competitive roster around All-Star center Joel Embiid.

Potential Trade Partner For Ben Simmons - Portland Trail Blazers

Ben Simmons during a game with the Philadelphia 76ers
Gettyimages | Tim Nwachukwu

One of the potential trade partners for the Sixers in the deal involving Simmons is the Portland Trail Blazers. In a recent article, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report came up with a blockbuster trade idea that would send Simmons to Portland this summer.

In the proposed trade scenario, the Sixers would be trading Simmons and Anthony Tolliver to the Trail Blazers in exchange for CJ McCollum and Robert Covington. If the trade becomes a reality, Favale believes it would help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.

Does The Trade Make Sense For The Trail Blazers?

Ben Simmons making plays for the Sixers
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

The proposed trade deal would make sense for the Trail Blazers if they are already planning to break their explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and McCollum. Despite his shooting woes, Favale believes that Lillard and the Trail Blazers can handle Simmons and make him a better player on the court.

"His offensive passivity—to put it kindly—is a problem, but Lillard can ferry the Blazers to a top-10 attack while working within the confines of a crimped half-court," Favale wrote. "Simmons is a transcendent defensive talent, and lineups that surround him with enough shooting will reap the benefits of his preternatural vision."

CJ McCollum & Robert Covington Improve Sixers' Supporting Cast Around Joel Embiid

Meanwhile, the suggested deal should be a no-brainer for the Sixers. Sending Simmons to Portland would allow them to replace him with another All-Star caliber player who could space the floor in McCollum while adding a veteran three-and-D wingman in Covington.

McCollum would give the Sixers a very reliable scoring option, a decent playmaker, and an elite three-point shooter. This season, he 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.

Proposed Trade Boosts Sixers' Chances To Win NBA Title

McCollum and Covington wouldn't have a hard time making themselves fit with the Sixers. With his ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc, McCollum would be the ideal superstar running mate for the ball-dominant Embiid. Meanwhile, Covington would no longer need to make himself comfortable in Philadelphia since he previously played for them for five consecutive seasons.

Adding McCollum and Covington to the Sixers' core of Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry would undoubtedly give the Sixers a better chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the NBA championship title in the 2021-22 NBA season.