The Philadelphia 76ers did not have much going for them this offseason, that’s pretty apparent. Aside from the discombobulating James Harden ordeal, which remains unresolved, down to more minuscule signings that have been far from spectacular, the reality is that the team has basically remained stagnant, if not moved for the worse, entering the 2023-24 season.
Another team in the same boat with the 76ers in the aspect of being fragmented with their own star is the Portland Trail Blazers which, after a tedious amount of time, have finally received an edict from Damian Lillard for a trade elsewhere. However, that has been a slow-moving truck, as they are now reportedly preparing to bring him to training camp with their brass facing a dearth of palatable offers.
Still, the Blazers are definitely keen on moving their superstar, and while the Miami Heat are frequently the talk of the town — and Lillard himself — as the desired location, the 76ers still have a shot at swooping in.
That is, if Philly is ready to meet Portland’s STEEP asking price (emphasis intended).
Portland will be open to trading Damian Lillard to the 76ers only under this condition
While Miami is still considered the frontrunner to land Lillard, the 76ers have one player whom the Trail Blazers are particularly high on to bolster their youth movement: Tyrese Maxey. Thus, Portland will reportedly be more than amenable to engaging with Philadelphia on a potential framework for a trade if the youngster is indeed to be made available by the 76ers.
The impediment to that cause, however, is the very fact that the Sixers have basically tabbed Maxey as untouchable in trades, even when the Lillard noise was at its peak a couple of months ago.
Landing Lillard would undeniably give the 76ers and Joel Embiid a proven, high-commodity star who fits a team need in light of Harden’s anticipated departure, and while he’s still under contract for four more seasons, losing Maxey would definitely sting nevertheless, especially considering the fact that the Sixers have been commencing efforts to sustainably build out the roster to also be well-geared for the future.
Still, depending on the other components on a hypothetical deal, the 76ers should do more than due diligence and at least give it a serious thought. Players like Lillard with ample roster control don’t become available often, if at all, and if the franchise truly wants to maximize its championship windown, going truly all-in, while a tough sell, may be the logical choice.
Fortunately, we’re not the one making the call on what should be a very tough decision, but it sure should assure the Philadelphia 76ers that they at least have some options up their sleeve even amid all the ruckus this summer.