The Philadelphia 76ers have been on the heart of the rumor mill for the previous few months. Without end for the Ben Simmons drama, the rumor mill will proceed to be extraordinarily lively surrounding the crew over the approaching weeks and months.
The most recent Simmons-related information comes from Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic. In a chunk centered across the newest information popping out of the Portland Path Blazers camp, Charania and Amick dropped in that All-Star Damian Lillard would really like Portland to make a commerce for Simmons.
Lillard intends to present the Path Blazers group time to search out its subsequent chief of basketball operations. However past the entrance workplace part, the face of the franchise nonetheless desires important modifications to the roster. A number of sources have instructed The Athletic that Lillard want to play with Philadelphia 76ers three-time All-Star Ben Simmons. The Path Blazers’ league-worst protection would immediately enhance, and sharing a backcourt with a non-shooter may work given Lillard’s high-volume utilization.
Sources say the Path Blazers, below Olshey, mentioned the framework of a commerce for Simmons, transferring CJ McCollum, a first-round draft choose and a younger participant similar to Nassir Little or Anfernee Simons to Philadelphia. The 76ers, sources mentioned, at one level requested the Path Blazers for McCollum and a number of draft picks and a number of draft swaps, which Portland rejected. Olshey maintained important confidence within the roster he constructed. Now, it’s unclear if there’s a deal available with the 76ers. However with Olshey out, who amongst chair Jody Allen, vice chair Bert Kolde and Cronin could be the one making the decision on a Simmons commerce or any acquisition designed to alleviate Lillard’s issues? (The Athletic)
A very powerful piece of knowledge for the Sixers is that Lillard would really like the Path Blazers to swing a commerce to carry Simmons to Portland. If Philadelphia have been to do this, the return within the commerce could be centered round guard CJ McCollum.
McCollum brings some issues to the desk that may assist the 76ers enhance on the ground. He brings an excellent mixture of capturing effectivity and excessive quantity, averaging 20-plus factors per recreation each season since 2015-16. He takes practically 20 photographs per recreation and isn’t afraid to have the ball in his palms late within the recreation, though he has not obtained a lot alternative in that space as a consequence of being paired with Lillard, who typically dominates late in video games. His flooring spacing capacity, as evidenced by his 39.7 profession proportion from past the arc, mixed with an above common capacity to drive to the basket would make him an excellent match with celebrity Joel Embiid.
Nonetheless, there are some flaws in McCollum’s recreation and his match with the remainder of the roster. He’s solely a barely above common facilitator, averaging 4.5 assists per recreation over the previous three seasons. He stacks up as certainly one of many gamers the Sixers have already got on their roster, somebody who’s able to filling in on the level guard place once in a while however not a everlasting repair. He does present a ton of promise within the pick-and-roll, however that’s not one thing the 76ers run a number of with Embiid.
On the defensive finish, McCollum is not going to assist alleviate any of the crew’s defensive points. Having him change Simmons within the lineup would clearly be an enormous downgrade defensively. Nonetheless, he can play some strong protection once in a while, however he won’t be able to anchor a protection and is liable to get taken benefit of at occasions on that finish of the ground.
With all that being mentioned, ought to basic supervisor Daryl Morey pull the set off on a Simmons-McCollum swap?
The reply is a powerful no at this stage. With the NBA commerce market starting to open up, Morey ought to stay affected person with the Simmons commerce market. Morey has lengthy been linked to Lillard ever because the information got here out about Simmons wanting out of Philadelphia. With Portland just lately undergoing some major changes of their entrance workplace (firing basic supervisor and president of basketball operations Neil Olshey), the just lately stagnant probabilities of Lillard changing into accessible may develop, and Morey ought to be proper there ready as one of many high suitors.
Between McCollum’s imperfect match on the roster and his lofty contract (between $30.eight million and $35.eight million per season by way of 2023-24), receiving him as a centerpiece in a Simmons commerce simply doesn’t make sufficient sense proper now for the 76ers. Whereas the report by Charania and Amick references the 76ers additionally getting picks and a younger participant (Nassir Little or Anfernee Simons), the general commerce package deal would simply not match what Morey has mentioned he’s on the lookout for – an impression All-Star participant.