The Philadelphia 76ers suffered another brutal exit in the NBA Playoffs, sending this team into an offseason that could see a significant roster overhaul. With so many huge names floated in NBA trade rumors, it seems the 76ers are already thinking about blockbuster moves.
Ben Simmons is the focal point of offseason discussions, with various trade scenarios thrown around for one of the NBA’s best defensive players. Following another ugly performance in the playoffs, it feels increasingly likely that the All-Star is moved. But if the 76ers are going to make a big change, they’ll need a star back.
Fortunately, there isn’t a shortage of options. Kyle Lowry could be a target in a sign-and-trade. Meanwhile, the Bradley Beal trade rumors might heat up amid organizational change. But for now, Philadelphia’s front office has a different target in mind.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor spoke to multiple people around the NBA, with many saying the 76ers are “hoping for an opportunity” at a Damian Lillard trade.
Philadelphia, much like every other NBA team, is watching the situation in Portland closely. The drama surrounding the Chauncey Billups hire has sparked frustrations. While it’s still early in the process, there’s an increasing possibility that Lillard could ask for a trade.
He would be a fantastic fit for the 76ers. Lillard shot 39.1% from beyond the arc this past season and is averaging 4.1 3-pointers made per game over the last two years. His outside shooting paired with his overall scoring abilities would mesh perfectly with Joel Embiid.
On the defensive end, Philadelphia wouldn’t need to worry about that. If they landed the All-Star guard point with a package featuring Simmons and draft picks, it might allow them to keep Matisse Thybulle. Under that scenario, the 76ers can put the NBA All-Defensive Team selection next to Lillard.
Lillard will likely give the Trail Blazers a month to figure things out, evaluating their approach early in the offseason before determining his future. If he eventually demands a trade, it’s hard to imagine a better fit than the Philadelphia 76ers for a blockbuster trade.