Ben Simmons Trade Rumors: Blazers' CJ McCollum Seen as 'Reasonable' Target for 76ers

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 21, 2021

PORTLAND, OREGON - JUNE 03: CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts after a basket against the Denver Nuggets during Round 1, Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center on June 03, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
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A Ben Simmons-for-CJ McCollum swap is reportedly considered "reasonable" around the NBA as the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers likely consider moving their respective guards this summer.

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported Monday that executives around the league consider the deal a logical trade; it's unclear if Portland or Philadelphia feels the same way. 

The Sixers and Blazers are natural dance partners because they're in a similar situation, needing seismic change to improve their postseason outlooks.

Seemingly the entire city of Philadelphia was ready to trade Simmons elsewhere the second the buzzer sounded on the Hawks' second-round upset of the Sixers. The Wells Fargo Center crowd loudly booed Simmons on multiple occasions in Sunday's Game 7, most notably after a missed free throw in the fourth quarter.

Joel Embiid also publicly admitted frustration with Simmons, saying the turning point of the game was when he passed up a wide-open dunk opportunity to pass the ball to Matisse Thybulle, who was fouled. Thybulle made one of two free throws to bring the score to 88-87 with 3:29 remaining.

"Man, I will be honest. I thought the turning point was, you know, when we, I don't know how to say it, but I thought the turning point was just we had an open shot and we made one free throw and we missed the other and they came down and scored," Embiid told reporters.

While McCollum's co-star, Damian Lillard, hasn't been as open in his frustrations, it's clear something has to give in Portland. The Blazers already parted ways with head coach Terry Stotts and are looking at a situation where Lillard's steadfast loyalty is being tested by his teammates' inability to come through in the postseason.

McCollum averaged 20.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in the Blazers' first-round loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Even as their respective teams may be considering trading them for their postseason unreliability, McCollum is a fit for the Sixers' needs and Simmons for the Blazers'. McCollum would give Philly a more consistent second scoring threat, while Simmons is the do-everything defender Portland sorely lacked in the playoffs.

However, it's unclear if the Sixers would be willing to part with Simmons for McCollum alone. McCollum turns 30 in September and has no All-Star appearances under his belt; Simmons is five years younger, a three-time All-Star and was an All-NBA selection in 2019-20.