Sixers Trade For Blazers’ Damian Lillard In New Blockbuster Proposal

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

Before you know it, the 2023-24 NBA season will be underway. The offseason has almost drawn to a close. With that in mind, we don’t even know what team some of the best players in the league will be suiting up for. 

James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers could land elsewhere. His trade request has been hanging over the Sixers organization for much of the summer. At this point, it’s fair to wonder whether the team will even move him. Recent reports have suggested that Harden has remained in contact with his teammates in the city of Brotherly Love. 

On the other hand, it feels like the Portland Trail Blazers have virtually got to trade Damian Lillard. Harden has only been in Philadelphia for a season – Lillard has given Portland his entire career. This situation feels like it’s come to a natural conclusion. Could the Blazers send Lillard to the Sixers? 

The Trade Proposal 

Portland Trail Blazers Receive: F Tobias Harris, G Tyrese Maxey, 2029 First-Round Pick (PHI) 
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: G Damian Lillard 

Naturally, this isn’t the outcome that anybody is expecting. Lillard is supposed to join the Miami Heat. That’s where he wants to land, and by all accounts, the Heat would be happy to add him. Meanwhile. Harden allegedly has eyes for the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Right. This is the NBA. Expect the unexpected. We’ve seen plenty of players land on teams that nobody predicted they would land on in recent years. This wouldn’t even be as shocking as some outcomes that have come to fruition. After all, this one is already in the rumor mill. 

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

Apparently, the Sixers are interested in Lillard. Should that come as a shock? General manager Daryl Morey is notoriously obsessed with star players. Lillard is one of the league’s brightest. Would he really be a sensible addition to this Sixers squad? 

Why The Philadelphia 76ers Do The Deal 

We think so. That’s not to say that this deal doesn’t come without risks. The Sixers are losing some depth here – they’re upgrading a guard spot while losing a useful forward outright. Meanwhile, there will be concerns about the team’s backcourt defense if they’re pairing Harden and Lillard. 

We get all of those concerns. We may even share them. At the same time, the Sixers would be assembling one of the most talented trios in the NBA. Lillard would be joining Joel Embiid and Harden. That should be unguardable. Meanwhile, Lillard’s ability to double as an off-ball threat should make him a sensible backcourt partner for Harden. 

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

Meanwhile, P.J.  Tucker, Paul Reid, and Daniel House Jr. can pick up some of Harris’ slack. The Sixers could handle the 4 by committee and have a more dynamic offensive team to show for it. What does adding Maxey do for Portland? 

Why The Portland Trail Blazers Do The Deal 

Some fans will dismiss this deal for the Blazers. They already have Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe, and Anfernee Simons. Why would they add another young guard in Maxey? SHouldn’t they seek a more draft-centric return for Lillard? 

Possibly. On the other hand, rebuilding teams often do well to stockpile talent. For Portland, this is about having as many good young players as they can roster. They can hash out the details later. The Blazers will determine which backcourt combination works best, and trade one or two of their remaining guards. 

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

Why one or two? Well, Sharpe has the size to play the 3. He could end up there on a full-time basis. That would leave Portland deciding between Maxey’s rim pressure and Simons’ shooting alongside Henderson. Either combination ought to make for one of the most exciting backcourts in the NBA. If this deal goes down, we’ll get to see them in action soon enough. 

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About James Piercey 3880 Articles
When it comes to exploring the endless possibilities of NBA trades, there's no one quite like James Piercey. With a keen eye for player dynamics, salary cap intricacies, and a knack for discovering uncharted trade territory, James has risen to prominence as the preeminent expert in the realm of hypothetical NBA trades. James is also known for his work covering the Houston Rockets for SB Nation's The Dream Shake — a blog that gives a daily, comprehensive look at the team. He has written for various outlets, including FanSided and Last Word on Sports, among others.