Tuesday, December 7 2021

Does Lillard’s Twitter activity hint at Simmons trade idea? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

As the Sixers look for a way to move the suddenly-disgruntled Ben Simmons, one team that has consistently been linked to a move has been the Trailblazers.

And apparently Blazers superstar Damian Lillard is also interested in a Simmons-to-Portland deal… but not in a way that will make Sixers fans happy.

A few intrepid social media watchers noticed an interesting Twitter interaction from Lillard on Wednesday evening that seems to at least hint at the superstar’s preferences in team upgrades.

Lillard was tagged in a photo tweet from a Blazers fan in which Lillard is standing next to Simmons, with Simmons photoshopped into a Blazers uniform – and Lillard decided to smash that like button:

That would certainly be Dame Time, but in a very bad way.

The ideal Simmons-to-Portland deal for Sixers fans, of course, would see Lillard sent back to Philly. The Blazers have been spinning their wheels for years now as a good-not-great team in the loaded West, and many speculated that Lillard might try to get out this offseason in search of an actual shot at contention. Sending Simmons to Portland would be the perfect way for Daryl Morey to capitalize on Joel Embiid’s championship window, while Portland could use the young and intriguing Simmons as a foundational piece as they hit reset.

The alternative, and much-less-appealing, deal for the Sixers would be sending Simmons to Portland for C.J. McCollum and maybe draft picks, or maybe supplemental pieces. McCollum is good, but he’s not making the Sixers contenders next year. Simmons, meanwhile, would help shore up one of the worst defenses in the league and could theoretically be an interesting basketball fit alongside Lillard. 

I don’t see the two gelling – Lillard spent 19.1% of his possessions last year working in isolation according to NBA.com, ninth-most in the league, and Simmons is notoriously useless when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands in half-court offense – but Lillard doesn’t seem concerned, at least judging by his social media activity.

In an ideal world the Sixers would be able to get better return than McCollum and picks or McCollum and Nassir Little, but it might not be doable, particularly now with Morey’s diminished leverage after Simmons’ reported quasi-trade request.

Just warning you now, Dame: don’t be fooled by the offseason videos like we were. The guy won’t shoot.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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