Portland Trail Blazers: Pros and cons of CJ McCollum-Ben Simmons trade

Ben Simmons, Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons, Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Many basketball writers and analysts have suggested that a Portland Trail Blazers trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, centered around CJ McCollum and Ben Simmons, makes sense for both teams.

Philly is missing a shot creator at the guard position; a player who can get buckets off the dribble and act as a secondary playmaker for Joel Embiid and the 76ers few shooters.

The Blazers of course, are sorely lacking on both defense and playmaking: two of Ben Simmons’s greatest strengths as a player.

Would trading CJ McCollum for Ben Simmons raise the Portland Trail Blazers ceiling?

On the surface level, the trade makes perfect sense. Both teams would be addressing their dire needs, the salaries match up nicely, and both McCollum and Simmons seem to need a change of scenery from their current teams.

But in a trade, there’s always a winner and a loser. Even if a trade works out for both teams, (take the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks draft day swap that resulted in the former team landing Trae Young and additional assets and the latter acquiring Luka Doncic for example) one club is always going to make it out better than the other.

Sometimes, the winner of a trade isn’t made clear until later down the road. The aforementioned trade between the Hawks and Mavericks still doesn’t have a victor yet. Early on, it appeared that the Mavs burgled the Hawks straight up. But with Luka and co getting bounced in the first-round again, and the Hawks finishing one game short of the Finals, the leverage is now on Atlanta’s side.

With McCollum being an eight-year veteran and Simmons entering his fifth season next year, we have a fairly large sample size to predict how each player would perform with their new respective squads.

Even though it appears as though General Manager Neil Olshey does not intend to make any major moves, let’s check out the pros and cons of a McCollum-Simmons swap anyways.