Around the NBA landscape, rumors have been swirling around that Trailblazers superstar point guard Damian Lillard may request a trade out of Portland.
Lillard is starting to grow impatient with the organization’s ability to form a championship caliber team, and to be able to compete with the best teams in the western conference such as the Clippers, Suns, and Lakers.
He has spent his whole entire career in Portland, and in the nine seasons he’s been there they only managed to reach the western conference finals once, and that ultimately led them to be swept by the Warriors.
If the rumors happen to be true on him wanting to leave Portland, then Daryl Morey should do whatever it takes to get a deal done.
Ben Simmons would obviously be a part of the trade, along with either Matisse Thybulle or Tyrese Maxey, or possibly even both, to go along with three to four future first round picks.
Morey shouldn’t even hesitate on dealing away those players and the other assets for Lillard.
Simmons is one of the greatest defenders in the league and has already accomplished so much for only being 24 years of age, but he lacks a jump shot and is a poor fit alongside Joel Embiid because of it.
Thybulle and Maxey have the potential to be really good players in this league, as Thybulle has already established himself as one of the best defenders in the league earning second team all-defensive honors in only his second season as a pro, but these two players will never have the superstar ceiling as Damian Lillard.
The organization needs to whatever it takes to maximize Embiid’s prime while they still can, and there’s no perfect fit to play alongside him than Lillard.
Lillard’s ability to score from anywhere on the court will open up so much room for Embiid to operate in the paint and do his thing.
Embiid would finally have a point guard who he can perform the pick-and-roll with, as Lillard is one of the best in the business when it comes to performing that action.
With Simmons, the Sixers never had an electric offense due to his offensive liabilities, but with Lillard they should easily have a top five offense in the entire league with a center who averaged 28.5 points per game during the regular season.
Lillard certainly isn’t known for his defense, but it wouldn’t matter when your adding one of the best offensive and most clutch players in the league.
Teams who go deep into the playoffs always have a player who can score in clutch situations, and that’s something the Sixers have lacked for quite some time, outside of Jimmy Butler who almost single handily led the team to the conference finals two seasons ago if it wasn’t for the Kawhi Leonard game winning shot.
Adding Lillard would take so much pressure off of Embiid’s shoulders, and then he wouldn’t have to score forty points a night just for them to win by two points because Simmons’ was only able to muster five points while going 0–5 from the free throw line. Tobias Harris wouldn’t have to be the team’s second leading scorer anymore because Lillard’ lethal scoring would take some weight off of Harris’ shoulders as well.
For awhile now, the organization has talked about brining in a superstar player in order for the team to finally make a deep playoff run, but that hope never turned into a reality, and they ultimately paid the price for it. Now is the time for the organization to finally turn it into a reality.