The 76ers and Trail Blazers make a direct switcheroo
The most realistic one out of this list for the 76ers, unfortunately, is one that makes the least amount of credence on the side of the Trail Blazers, which will surely exhaust all of their options to pinpoint Tyrese Maxey as the main fulcrum of a return for Damian Lillard if Portland’s brass declines Miami’s mediocre peak offer and turns to Philly.
In this straightforward scenario, the Sixers acquire Lillard and absorb Jerami Grant’s nouveau deal for Harden while dumping Tobias Harris and PJ Tucker in addition to sending Portland their unprotected first-rounders in 2024, 2026, and 2028. With Maxey out of the picture here, Philadelphia has to compensate by aggressively trading their picks.
This comes with adequate risk for the 76ers due to the amplitude of the outgoing draft capital, but the players going to Portland in this scenario are all out of the team’s future plans anyway. From that vista, this is definitely the one trade that will be the safest for the franchise.
That being said, the same cannot be said for Portland. Not only can they get a desired, non-flight risk star package for Lillard from other teams, but they can also get as much draft compensation from that same deal while retaining Grant, who can be flipped for assets down the road.
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