Over the past month there has been a lot of speculation revolving around Damian Lillard’s commitment to the Portland Trail Blazers, which obviously has every fan base coming up with mock trades to land the perennial all-star and MVP candidate. The only way that Portland will trade Lillard is if he decides to demand a trade and they get significant assets back in return. Now if this were to happen, the Sixers are in a great position to make the trade because of the young assets we have acquired, and the fact that we are in the opposite conference than the Trail Blazers which is very important when moving star players as we have seen in recent years with guys like Kawhi Leonard (Spurs to Raptors) and Paul George (Pacers to Thunder).
The main thing that needs to be taken into consideration as Sixers fans is that to land a guy like Damian Lillard, you are going to have to lose players that you really like. Daryl Morrey will not be able to dump a bunch of assets that nobody is high on and land a guy like Lillard. The only way to do it, is to make an aggressive offer that Portland has to consider. I have been seeing a lot of mock trades where the money between the teams work out, but if you look at it from Portlands perspective, they are not getting nearly enough.
Realistic expectations for acquiring a player like Dame is that at the very least it is going to cost us more than just Simmons and draft picks. Portland will definitely want someone like Maxey involved in any trade for Lillard and as awesome as Maxey has been, it is something that would make the team better. Joel Embiid is an MVP caliber player who couldn’t get any help from his supporting cast when he needed it most again. I love the young talent we have acquired over the past couple seasons, but a player like Damian Lillard becoming available changes everything.
Sixers cannot afford to not make the trade if he is available because he will then end up on a rival team in the East, much like James Harden landed on Brooklyn this year. If the Sixers do not make the trade for Lillard because we want to preserve our young talent and he ends up on a team like the Celtics, then there will be no more championship hopes for this team. We cannot get Lillard without sacrificing assets that we like, but if we make that sacrifice, the Sixers will be real championship contenders who the rest of the league will be scared of.
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