With rumors still swirling left and right in regards to Ben Simmons‘ future with the Philadelphia 76ers, Andy Bailey from over at Bleacher Report decided to chime in on what he thinks the “best” trade offer Daryl Morey should expect to receive this offseason is:
"But even if Lillard doesn’t ask out, Philadelphia shouldn’t cut off communication with the Blazers. The McCollum-for-Simmons idea has persisted for months (this writer first suggested it over a year ago) because it makes so much sense for both sides.It’s always tough to predict the smaller pieces in trade puzzles, like draft compensation and salary filler, but if those two are the headliners, it feels like a win-win.The Trade: CJ McCollum and a 2023 first-round pick for Ben SimmonsThat may be too simple. Philadelphia could insist on additional draft compensation, and Portland probably shouldn’t dig its heels in there (would a 2024 pick swap get it done?). Either team could have eyes on lower-value contracts from the other. But the fact that a straight-up swap of these two works under the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t hurt the rumors.If it is this easy, it helps both teams."
Bailey goes on to explain the pros and cons of the trade for each team, highlighting the fact that the Sixers are accepting a downgrade in terms of raw talent. Simmons is bigger, faster, stronger, younger, a way better defender, and possesses a much high ceiling. CJ McCollum is obviously a better shooter and natural scorer – but that’s about it.
If Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers were to pursue such a trade arrangement, it would be about targeting a player who “fits” better alongside the likes of Joel Embiid. Many have speculated that adding any sort of perimeter scorer next to JoJo would result in an championship caliber offense.
Is CJ McCollum (and a first-round pick) the best trade package the Philadelphia 76ers should be expecting to receive for Ben Simmons?
From the perspective of “is this the best offer the Sixers should expect to receive this offseason?” – I think Bailey might be downplaying the potential for player disgruntlement around the league this summer. Both Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal appear to be close to public trade requests following their early postseason exits, and someone like Zach LaVine has yet to sign a longterm extension with his current team.
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Lillard in particular is someone the Sixers are projected to have a ton of interest in, for obvious reasons. If he were to officially request a trade this offseason, a package of Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, and multiple first-round picks would be extremely competitive on the open market.
I don’t hate the idea of trading Simmons for McCollum – especially with that extra first-round pick attached – but it would definitely feel like “selling low” to me. McCollum isn’t a proven championship-caliber talent, and he’s never been the focal point of an offense. Lillard has long commanded opposing teams’ best defenders, making life far easier for CJ.
There’s still a ton of offseason left to go. Waiting to see if Lillard, Beal, or someone else makes a trade request remains the best plan of attack for Daryl Morey and company.