76ers Trade Rumors: PHI 'Hoping' for Chance to Land Damian Lillard from Trail Blazers

Adam WellsJuly 1, 2021

PORTLAND, OREGON - JUNE 03: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts after his three point basket in the second quarter 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)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

As Damian Lillard's future remains a question mark heading into the offseason, one prominent Eastern Conference team is reportedly keeping an eye on the six-time All-Star's status. 

Per The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, the Philadelphia 76ers are "hoping for an opportunity to land" Lillard in a potential deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. 

The Sixers have frequently been mentioned in rumors as a potential trade partner with the Blazers if either team were to make a blockbuster deal this offseason. It's unclear, though, if Portland is going to entertain any trades for Lillard. 

O'Connor reported on July 21 that executives around the NBA believe that a Ben Simmons-for-CJ McCollum deal would be "reasonable" for both teams. 

There's no indication that Lillard has requested a trade from Portland, but Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported this week that the 30-year-old could attempt to push his way out amid frustration with the organization's coaching search and "concerns on whether a championship contender" can be built by the Blazers front office. 

In the wake of Philadelphia's 103-96 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Simmons' name immediately popped up as a possible trade candidate. 

A three-time All-Star, Simmons endured his share of struggles this postseason. He scored a total of 19 points in the final three games against the Hawks and didn't attempt a field goal in the fourth quarter of the final four games of the series. 

When Sixers head coach Doc Rivers was asked if he thought Simmons could be the point guard for a championship team, he told reporters after the Game 7 loss he didn't "know the answer to that right now." 

The 2021-22 season will mark the first year of Lillard's four-year, $176.3 million extension he signed in July 2019. 

Simmons has four years and $146.7 million remaining on his current deal. 

Philadelphia had the best record in the Eastern Conference during the regular season (49-23) but was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs for the third time in the past four years.