The Portland Trail Blazers have been in the news a lot since the start of this week because of the instability rocking the organization. They fired the president of basketball operations and GM Neil Olshey on the grounds of workplace misconduct.
On Monday, December 6, it was reported that the Trail Blazers, under Olshey, attempted to effect a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers but could not come to an agreement. The Blazers wanted Ben Simmons and were willing to give CJ McCollum, a draft pick, and a young player in exchange, but the Sixers were interested in multiple draft picks.
The rumor was centered around Damian Lillard wanting to play with Simmons, which the All-Star guard debunked. Although Lillard made his stance clear on the rumor, Simmons seemingly was up for it as he was seen liking a post on the topic.
With the speculations and uncertainties flying around, a source close to the Sixers organization has debunked all claims of a trade deal for McCollum.
“A bit of important reporting we will try not to bury in a recap — a source familiar with the situation spoke to PhillyVoice on Monday evening and said the Sixers have had no recent discussions with Portland regarding a CJ McCollum trade, and a package centered around the Blazers’ guard is not currently of interest to the Sixers."
"The Sixers are expected to continue dialogue with teams across the league about potential opportunities as December 15th nears closer and more trade scenarios become available league-wide.”
Even as these rumors have been denied, both teams still have significant problems on their hands. Lillard has pledged his loyalty to the franchise, stating that he wants to win a championship in Portland, but the organization has not done enough in surrounding him with the talent that can make them championship contenders.
For the Sixers, Simmons' value continues to drop as he does not play, and the 6'11" guard has stated that he is not mentally ready to play for the Sixers.
A lot could change before the NBA trade deadline, and both teams could get their wish. The Sixers are still listening to offers from teams regarding Simmons, while the Trail Blazers might get an opportunity to make a few changes under new management.