Even though there are no reports of the Portland Trail Blazers planning to trade Damian Lillard, there has been plenty of speculation regarding a possible trade. While the Philadelphia 76ers could make an inquiry, NBA Insider Chris Haynes sounded pessimistic about their chances of getting Lillard while mentioning teams that could potentially acquire him.
Any trade for Lillard would involve Tobias Harris just to match the salary, but the Trail Blazers would likely want valuable draft picks and young talent. Outside of Tyrese Maxey, the Sixers don’t have much to offer.
But the Sixers do have to consider what their options are should James Harden leave this summer. If he does, it doesn’t sound like Lillard will be an option.
Chris Paul Mentioned as James Harden’s Replacement
“The first place your mind goes is whether the Sixers would benefit from bringing in Paul themselves, though that only appears to make sense in a world where James Harden is leaving,” Neubeck said.
Neubeck explained that Paul’s advanced age affected his performance, which could be an issue.
“Paul is far from the Hall of Fame, All-Star guard he once was, bothered by injuries late in seasons and unable to dial it up as often and as effectively as he could in the recent past. A master of the midrange, Paul’s efficiency on two-point shots took a nose dive last season, a worrying sign for a small guard who will turn 39 in the middle of next year’s second round.”
Despite Paul’s age, Neubeck explained what he could bring to the Sixers.
“Paul has a ton of on-court and off-court wisdom to pass onto any guard who would listen, and he remains one of the league’s steadiest playmakers in spite of what he has lost. Paul has made a career out of picking his spots as a scorer while spoonfeeding easy looks to teammates, and the Sixers would be able to tap into his playmaking without needing to worry about absorbing much playmaking risk.”
Suns Floated as Possible James Harden Suitor
After NBA Insider Shams Charania reported that Paul and the Suns are exploring their options, Ramona Shelburne explained on Mason & Ireland on June 7 that the Suns wouldn’t get rid of someone like Paul unless they knew another star was coming, leading her to name-drop Harden as an option for the Suns.
“They don’t (waive Paul) unless they feel pretty good about somebody else, and I want you to keep your eye on James Harden,” Shelburne said. “I don’t want to report anything, but that was in the wind the past month or so. Everybody thinks it’s Philly or Houston, but there have been discussions in the wind.”
Only time will tell if these “discussions in the wind” will lead to something, but Shelburne would not mention this unless there was some legitimacy.