Sixers Trade For Blazers’ Damian Lillard In Bold Scenario

Damian Lillard, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The NBA’s offseason is heating up. We could see some league-breaking movement this summer. In some cases, the usual suspects are making noise. James Harden wants to be traded. Is anybody surprised? 

No. On the other hand, Damian Lillard’s trade request came as a shock to some. You could make the case that it was long overdue, but still: this is a significant event. 

They may both get moved this summer. Alternatively, it’s possible that neither will. Expect both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Portland Trail Blazers to hold out until they’re comfortable with their return. Could the two stars be involved in the same deal? 

The Trade Proposal

Portland Trail Blazers Receive: F Tobias Harris, F/C Robert Williams III, G Tyrese Maxey, 2025 First-Round Pick (BOS), 2027 First-Round Pick (BOS) 
Boston Celtics Receive: G James Harden 
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: G Damian Lillard, G Derrick White 

With that said, superstar trades don’t happen easily. Usually, there’s a roadblock somewhere. For example, Harden may not be easy to move. As talented as he is, Harden is aging. There are questions about the effectiveness of his style of play, and he’s going to want a big contract after this season. 

By contrast, Lillard could be easier to move – if he was willing to go to a number of teams. With his list being limited to the Miami Heat alone, moving him gets complicated. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Will the Blazers send him to the Heat? We don’t know. Would Lillard come around to playing alongside Embiid in Philadelphia? We also do not know. Should he? 

Why The Philadelphia 76ers Do The Deal 

This may feel wrong to some Sixers fans. Why are we trading Harden and Maxey only to receive Lillard and White? We understand. That’s unfortunate. It may also be necessary. The Sixers won’t be able to trade Harden alone for an equally impactful player. 

That could be an enormous problem. If the Sixers aren’t contending next year, they could lose Joel Embiid. They can’t afford to put an inferior product on the floor next season. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Philadelphia 76ers Updates

With that said, the fit between Embiid and Lillard should be cleaner than the fit between Embiid and Harden. Lillard’s ability to operate off of the ball should complement Embiid more when he’s on the low block. Meanwhile, White is an outstanding 3-and-D guard who helps the Sixers preserve their depth. Should the Celtics give him up? 

Why The Boston Celtics Do The Deal 

For Boston, these negotiations may actually rest on White. Surely, they’d prefer to move Malcolm Brogdon. The Sixers won’t accommodate them there. It seems that Brogdon has some kind of health issue that’s concerning to rival front offices. The Sixers can’t trade Harden and Maxey for Lillard alone. Something has to give here. 

The Celtics should give. This team has needed a floor general to take the next step. Harden is among the best in the NBA. Meanwhile, this team may be perfectly built for him. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Remember Harden on the Nets? His playmaking instincts were on full display alongside a pair of stars who thrive off of the ball. This could be the missing piece that gets the Celtics a championship. Should the Blazers help facilitate it? 

Why The Portland Trail Blazers Do The Deal 

They say a good negotiation leaves all parties unsatisfied. The Blazers could have reservations about this deal too. It’s been rumored that they’re not interested in bringing in Tyler Herro from Miami. The Blazers have a lot of interesting young guards. Why would they bring in Maxey? 

Simple. Maxey has a higher ceiling than Herro. For a player of his caliber, the Blazers should stack their backcourt, see who fits, and make another trade down the road. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Plus, Maxey isn’t the only quality young player they’re getting back here. When healthy, Williams III is among the best defensive bigs in the NBA. Throw in a pair of unprotected first-round picks, and who knows? This deal could motivate the Blazers to shake up the NBA’s summer. 

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