NBA Trade Rumors: Sixers could swoop in an steal Damian Lillard from Heat?

Philadelphia 76ers Tyrese Maxey (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia 76ers Tyrese Maxey (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Rumors: Could the Philadelphia 76ers swoop in and steal Damian Lillard from the Miami Heat? 

The Portland Trail Blazers continue to hold onto hope that a non-Miami Heat team is going to enter the Damian Lillard sweepstakes last minute to help them negotiate a deal of their liking. Could the Philadelphia 76ers emerge as that possible dark horse landing spot for Lillard?

The only way the Sixers would be able to make a competitive offer for Lillard is if they’re willing to include Tyrese Maxey in a deal. ESPN Insider Bobby Marks echoed that recently. The question is, at what point should the Sixers seriously think about making such an effort? Is that even a possibility on their radar?

The best offer the Philadelphia 76ers can make for Damian Lillard

Even with the James Harden mess that they’re currently dealing with, the Sixers should think long and hard about pursuing Lillard. Here’s my question: if Lillard is traded to the Sixers, would he be unhappy? Would Lillard be opposed to playing with the reigning MVP? The duo of Lillard and Joel Embiid would create quite the 1-2 punch in the Eastern Conference and the Sixers would have a great chance of making a deep run in the playoffs.

At the very least, it makes some sense for both sides. And if the Sixers could swoop in to steal Lillard away from Miami, it’s an idea they should certainly explore.

The big question is whether they’d have enough assets to get a deal done.

Theoretically speaking, what is the best possible offer the Sixers could make the Blazers? The deal would have to start with Maxey. Tobias Harris would be included as expiring salary and then that’s where it gets iffy for the Sixers.

Because the Sixers don’t have available draft capital to send to Portland, this is where a deal could fall apart. However, in theory, the Sixers could trade their 2029 or 2030 first-round pick and staple six second-round picks to send to Portland. They could also include a few pick swaps if they wanted.

That might not be enough to keep the Blazers on the phone, but it’s something that could be of interest if they’re that high on Maxey.

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This all depends on how high the Blazers are on Maxey. If they think he’s a potential star and possibly on a better developmental path than Anfernee Simons, perhaps they think about pulling the trigger on this deal (perhaps moving Simons later). At the very least, it’s something to think about. Even though the Sixers have been hesitant about trading Maxey, it’s a possibility that perhaps the team should think about. Especially if they want to keep Embiid engaged and happy.