Thursday, January 26, 2023

NBA Trade Rumors: Portland Trail Blazers worried about Damian Lillard-Ben Simmons pairing in potential trade sending C.J. McCollum to Philadelphia 76ers

According to NBA trade rumors, the Portland Trail Blazers want to unite Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard this summer.

The Blazers are reportedly looking at a deal that will send CJ McCollum to the Philadelphia 76ers while they land the Australia international.

NBA Trade Rumors: Portland Trail Blazers concerned with Ben Simmons fit alongside Damian Lillard

The Portland Trail Blazers reportedly want to unite Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard this summer
The Portland Trail Blazers reportedly want to unite Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard this summer

Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian recently discussed the possibility of Ben Simmons’ move to the Portland Trail Blazers with the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Gina Mizell.

Fentress outlined the Blazers’ concerns with the point forward’s fit with Damian Lillard:

“I love the fit for both teams. However, I’ve been told by some within the Blazers organization that they are not sure how well Simmons and Lillard would fit together. Simmons wants to play the Magic Johnson role, which requires having the ball in his hands.”

He continued:

“Well, that’s Lillard’s job. I could see Lillard playing off the ball more often but in the end, it’s his team and he will want the ball the majority of the time. That would force Simmons to play a role he isn’t used to.”

The Portland Trail Blazers’ concerns are understandable, as both Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard are ball-dominant guards who like to make plays in the half-court. Lillard is more scoring-oriented, but he has been the de-facto playmaker for the Blazers since he joined the team.

NBA trade rumors suggest that the Philadelphia 76ers have been fixated on getting Damian Lillard this offseason. However, that looks like a remote possibility now, with Ben Simmons pressing for an immediate move. The 76ers will likely have to settle for C.J. McCollum and picks, contrary to the Simmons-Lillard swap deal that Daryl Morey and co. were looking to get done.

Both Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard had a contrasting 2021 NBA postseason in terms of individual performances. However, there has been one common theme this summer – both players have been involved in various NBA trade rumors.

Simmons is adamant about playing for a new franchise, while the Blazers are trying to keep hold of their franchise poster boy after failing to build a contender around him all these years.

Ben Simmons took some time off this offseason to work on his shooting skills, deciding to opt out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, Damian Lillard played and won a gold medal for Team USA and will now decide which team he will play for ahead of the new NBA season.

With the way things are progressing, there is a great probability of these two stars playing alongside each other in the Portland Trail Blazers backcourt.

Also Read: NBA Trade Rumors: Sacramento Kings unwilling to part with Harrison Barnes in a Ben Simmons trade package

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh


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