3 trades the 76ers can make to steal Damian Lillard from the Heat

Damian Lillard, 76ers - Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
Damian Lillard, 76ers - Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Damian Lillard, 76ers
Damian Lillard, Tobias Harris – Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports /

The 76ers make a blockbuster three-team trade involving Damian Lillard

Yeah, this trade somehow works.

Before you engage me in a virtual kerfuffle, let’s set this straight: among all available options, James Harden to the LA Clippers is starting to look like an open-and-shot case, a foregone conclusion. And should the 76ers gain actual momentum toward their pursuit of Lillard, then expanding the deal into a three-way trade could at least be a viable framework even if highly unlikely and asyonishingly tricky.

The point for Philly is to acquire several assets from the Clippers for Harden and re-route them to Portland, allowing them to ease up on outgoing draft capital returns. And what do the Trail Blazers get from this? A slew of tradeable veterans they can later flick away for future assets, two solid youngsters in Maxey and Terance Mann, solid draft compensation, and just as important, complete relief from Jerami Grant’s lucrative deal.

For the Clippers, this gives them a chance to put themselves back into the pedestal with Harden and Grant as the Western Conference improves across the board.

Meanwhile, the 76ers acquire Lillard while still retaining Tobias Harris, whose outgoing value can net them significant relief and leeway to play out what’s remaining of the current free agency pool. Again, unlike the usual self-coerced trades, you’re getting Dame for four more seasons.