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Blazers shut door on Lillard for Simmons trade

The Sixers were looking to trade for one of the most sought after guards in the game, but the Blazers are having none of it.

The Portland Trailblazers have made it clear to the Philadelphia 76ers that there is no deal on for a trade involving Damian Lillard and Ben Simmons.

A deal to exchange two of the most sought after point guards in the NBA has been touted but the team of one of them has quashed the rumors.

Blazers shut door on Lillard for Simmons trade

With speculation growing surrounding Philadelphia 76ers' All-Star guard Ben Simmons, the Portland Trail Blazers have been quick to remove any doubt, having once again reiterated that the Sixers' top target - All-NBA guard Damian Lillard - is not available for trade nor even a discussion. In recent months the Sixers have of course experienced some degree of turmoil with their want away point guard, however, Portland's interim general manager Joe Cronin was up front about the idea that the franchise has no intention of letting go of Lillard, what's more they intend to continue building a team around him.

Where does that leave the 76ers?

For their part the Sixers have demonstrated that they are intent on securing the best possible deal where Simmons is concerned. Philadelphia continues with purpose in an attempt to secure two- and three-team deal frameworks in an effort to secure the signature of a top 25 level player. While one could be forgiven for wondering why the increased intensity? The fact remains that on Wednesday coming, a number of players who signed during the off season will become free agents, which in turn means they will be eligible for trade. In fact as of December 15th, some 84% of the 446 players who are currently contracted can be negotiated for.

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And what about Damian Lillard?

Where Lillard is concerned, he has been a long term target for the Sixers. While Lillard courted the idea of leaving the Blazers as recently as this past summer, he later reaffirmed his desire to stay in Portland when the team's training camp started. To add further context to the situation, last week saw the firing of president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, which in turn has seen Cronin both publicly and privately stating that the franchise intends to maintain it's plan of building around Lillard. Interestingly, the Blazers themselves were seemingly interested in acquiring Simmons via a deal involving guard CJ McCollum, however, it is understood that negotiations between the two parties never actually gained momentum.

Simmons for his part is yet to feature in a game for Philadelphia this season, citing his mental health as the hindering factor.


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