The social media world was in chaos as True Hoops’ Henry Abbott reported that 31- year- old superstar Damian Lillard is going to request a trade out of Portland “in the days to come”. With a player like Damian Lillard potentially on the move, teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors are all possible destinations.
But, the only team Lillard should want to be traded to, with the prospect of winning a championship and cementing himself as one of the greatest ever, is with the Sixers.
Source: Blazers star Damian Lillard to request trade in the days to come.
If this is a surprise, you haven’t been paying attention. https://t.co/FS7KL1pPPm
— Henry Abbott (@TrueHoop) July 16, 2021
Damian Lillard should only have eyes for the Sixers
Before we go into what Lillard brings to Philadelphia, I think the most important thing to start off with is that Damian Lillard needs to only have eyes for Philadelphia if he does truly ask for a trade. Philadelphia is by far the most realistic spot to land Lillard, especially since the 76ers have a known Ben Simmons problem and it has been reported that they are willing to trade Simmons for an All-Star caliber player.
Sources: The Philadelphia 76ers have opened up trade conversations surrounding three-time All-Star Ben Simmons and have engaged with teams.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 13, 2021
Adding Lillard to the 76ers could mean this team has a legitimate chance to make it to the NBA Finals and win a championship. A combination of both Embiid and Lillard is something that most teams will fear as they will be able to dominate both inside the paint and with outside shooting.
He checks off a much-needed box: somebody who is a high-caliber shooter and who isn’t afraid to shoot in the playoffs. Now, while swapping Ben Simmons for Damian Lillard straight up wouldn’t be possible, adding more pieces would likely make this move more realistic. Here’s what the framework of a trade between the Sixers and Blazers could look like.
I know, Sixers fans — throwing in Maxey and picks will hurt, but it helps make this trade doable, gets the Sixers out of Ben Simmons’ contract, and with Lillard going into his four-year contract, keeps them in win-now mode by getting a superstar player they want in return.
What Damian Lillard brings to the Sixers
There are a multitude of things that Lillard would automatically bring to the Sixers if willing to relocate and get traded to Philadelphia. A six-time All-Star, he would be an ideal franchise point guard that will control ball-handling duties and playmaking responsibilities while creating space for Joel Embiid. He finished seventh in MVP voting, adding that next to Embiid means the Sixers could potentially always have an MVP caliber player on the court at all times throughout the game.
The former Weber State product is coming off a season in which he averaged 28.8 points, which ranked third the NBA, along with 7.5 assists, and 39 percent shooting from 3-point range on 10.5 attempts per game. Having somebody like Lillard on the Sixers means finally having a great playoff player and clutch performer.
This is somebody who thrives with the game on the line and playing under pressure leading to the moniker that crunch time is Dame Time. Over the past seasons since entering into the league, he has become one of the top-10 clutch scorers in the NBA in crunch time (the last five minutes of a five- point game). Just this season alone, Lillard has been the best clutch scorer, recording 162 points with 80 percent true shooting in the last five minutes of close games. ESPN’s Kevin Pelton wrote that Lillard’s effective field goal percentage in the clutch this season was 61.4 percent. This is the highest ever for a player who has a usage rate of at least 35 percent in 100 or more clutch minutes.
For this team and for Damian Lillard’s career, the Sixers are the only team he should want to be traded too. As an all-time great player, him wanting to be traded to the Sixers is crucial and a key ingredient to potentially going to the Finals. A playoff run that the city and fanbase fiercely longs for and needs.