The Portland Trail Blazers have been linked to Ben Simmons ever since the team’s early playoff exit and the impending breakup between the young star and the Philadelphia 76ers became more dire following their own postseason loss.
The rumors have only picked up more traction lately as various betting sites have listed the Blazers with the best odds for Simmons’s next team. Various moves made by Portland also point to the trade being a possibility, such as trading for Larry Nance Jr. and furthering their depth at the guard position.
These transactions could mean that General Manager Neil Olshey is preparing a trade package centered around CJ McCollum and possibly some additional assets in order to bring Ben Simmons to Rip City. Of course, from another perspective, Portland tying up their future draft picks by setting protections on the first-rounder they traded to the Chicago Bulls in the Nance trade could mean that the Blazers don’t plan on making any more major moves. Keep in mind though, that the Blazers and Bulls can renegotiate the protections on the exchanged pick at any time to free up Portland’s future draft capital for more trades.
A Ben Simmons to the Portland Trail Blazers trade seems inevitable; how will this affect the team?
Personally, I feel that Ben Simmons’s price tag is much too high for what he currently provides on the basketball court. Sixers General Manager Daryl Morey is notorious for robbing other GMs in trades and Olshey and the Blazers brass should be well aware of this.
Olshey has also consistently shown that he values McCollum way more than others in the league might. With these two conflicting mindsets, it seems unlikely that a trade would go through unless Philly significantly lowers their expectations for the return they’ll get for Simmons; a player whose entire organization spent the early part of their offseason trashing him and in turn, tanked his trade value.
All in all, I definitely wouldn’t consider the Portland Trail Blazers the favorites to land Ben Simmons. That being said, let’s play devil’s advocate and see how a CJ McCollum-Ben Simmons trade would most likely work out for the team.