The Philadelphia 76ers are "hoping for an opportunity to land" Damian Lillard, league sources tell Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer.
O'Connor, in a new piece discussing the future of the Los Angeles Clippers and how they may proceed, covered the idea of the Clips acquiring Ben Simmons. In doing so, O'Connor mentioned the nugget about league sources saying the Sixers are looking to land Lillard.
"There’s also Ben Simmons, the Sixers All-Star who spends nearly all of his off time in Los Angeles and would add a much-needed playmaking dimension to the Clippers," O'Connor wrote for Theringer.com. "But regardless of the other pieces involved in a potential deal, would Leonard want to team up with Simmons after the latter’s disastrous postseason? Is that a deal the Sixers would want to make, when league sources say they’re also hoping for an opportunity to land Lillard?"
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, the backlash from the Trail Blazers’ process to eventually hire Chauncey Billups as their new head coach, as well as concerns on whether or not a championship contender can be built, have become factors that could push Lillard out the door in Portland.
Lillard, who turns 31 on July 15th, is a six-time All-Star and one of the NBA's best scorers. Lillard has three years remaining on his contract where he'll make anywhere from $39-$45 million in each of the next three seasons before his $48.8 million 2024-25 player option.
Simmons, who turns 25 on July 20th, has currently been one of the biggest stories in the NBA, for all of the wrong reasons following the Sixers' second-round playoff exit to the Atlanta Hawks. Simmons became more reluctant to shoot game by game, struggled from the free-throw line mightily, and turned into a non-factor on offense in crunch time.
Now he is one of the top names mentioned in NBA trade rumors and will continue to be so throughout the Summer.
Here's Simmons' current contract situation with Philadelphia:
Current contract: 5 years, $177.2M
Years remaining on deal: 4
Respective cap hits: $33M, $35.5M, $37.9M, $40.3M