NBA Trade Rumors: Damian Lillard wants Blazers to trade for Ben Simmons

Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

NBA Trade Rumors: Damian Lillard wants to play with Ben Simmons. 

A little more than a quarter through the 2021-22 NBA regular season and it appears as if Damian Lillard is growing tired of mediocrity. Or, at the very least, mediocrity without striving for improvement.

That’s exactly what the Portland Trail Blazers have been for the past couple of seasons. Since making a surprise run to the Western Conference Finals during the 2019 postseason, the Blazers have taken steps back in the West’s hierarchy.

At the moment, the Blazers find themselves two games under .500, at 11-13, and outside of the top 8 in the West. A case can be made that the Blazers are slowly falling into the place where you simply don’t want to be in the NBA – not good enough to be any threat in the playoffs, but also not bad enough to warrant a high enough draft pick to move the needle for the franchise.

It appears Lillard, the team’s franchise player, is feeling the danger of that and is growing frustrated with the direction of the team. It appears he wants a change and a big one. According to a recent report, one that would appease him would be a trade for Ben Simmons.

In other words, it appears that Lillard wants the Blazers to trade for Simmons.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. I’m sure the Blazers have already done their due diligence on Simmons and from all indications, Daryl Morey is playing the hardest of ball when it comes to trade discussions in exchange for Simmons. As he should.

Simmons is a 25-year-old all-NBA talent that might not have even hit his ceiling yet. That said, it’s become pretty obvious that both the Sixers and Simmons would benefit from a change of scenery. Question is, is Morey any more open to selling Simmons now that he was, say, a couple of months ago?

And it’s actually a fair question to ask.

The Sixers are currently 12-11 and are ninth in the Eastern Conference standings. They’re far from the contender that many hoped they would be this season – not having Simmons in the lineup kind of threw that chance out the window – and they clearly need help in the backcourt (despite the excellent play of Tyrese Maxey).

No one seems to know the answer right now, but the Blazers should absolutely be pressing Morey. I long-believed that a CJ McCollum-Ben Simmons swap made the most sense for all parties. For one reason or another, it’s never materialized.

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Perhaps pressure from Lillard and Simmons will help make that happen.