The Sixers crashed out of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on Sunday. Philadelphia’s less-than-ideal exit has NBA pundits buzzing when considering what the future holds for former No. 1 pick Ben Simmons. Against the Hawks, Simmons’ lack of confidence on offense captured headlines.
If the Sixers look to make a significant change in the 2021 offseason, Simmons is a likely trade candidate. In regards to potential suitors, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor explained that the Trail Blazers could partner with the Sixers to get a deal done.
O’Connor floated a potential deal that involved Simmons and CJ McCollum. According to O’Connor, Simmons would boost Portland’s playmaking.
Consider Portland. McCollum for Simmons as the main piece in a Blazers-Sixers deal is what executives around the league, just like fans, think is a reasonable trade that makes sense for both sides. Simmons could be like a supercharged Draymond Green to Damian Lillard’s Steph Curry. For years, the Warriors have shredded teams because Curry would often draw a trap, and pass the ball to Draymond, who could get to the rim or make a clutch pass to a teammate. Simmons would thrive in a role like that since Lillard feels the same type of pressure in the pick-and-roll.
O’Connor went on to explain that the Sixers would sacrifice defense for offense with McCollum in the fold.
McCollum, in turn, would help the Sixers. Any player who can create their own shot at a high level would. But it’s not a no-brainer deal. McCollum is 29, and he has underperformed in past postseasons. A backcourt of McCollum and Seth Curry would also make for a weak defensive duo. Blazers fans have just about had it with McCollum, just as Sixers fans have with Simmons. But they could each drag their problems to a new team too.
In the 2021 postseason, Simmons averaged 33.5 minutes and 11.9 points per game. In year-end awards voting, Simmons finished behind Rudy Gobert for Defensive Player of the Year honors.
You can read the full story from O’Connor at The Ringer.