SIXERS WANT DAME FOR BEN, MAY HAVE TO SETTLE FOR MCCOLLUM!

By Jerry Wein

NBA free agency starts tomorrow, August 2, at 6 pm in the East.

But in the northwest, the approaches, the Portland Trail Blazers and star point guard Damian Lillard continue to battle it out.

Marc Stein writes in his Substack newsletter that though teams have been asking, the Blazers are unlikely to deal Lillard:

For all the undeniable tension in the Pacific Northwest, neither Portland nor Lillard is ready to entertain trade possibilities … certainly not while Lillard is in Tokyo trying to focus on the Olympics.

Stein also says that despite the fact that the Blazers would like to move CJ McCollum for an asset like Sixer Ben Simmons, it is also unlikely to happen because Daryl Morey wants Damian Lillard:

Philadelphia continues to ask for a massive return in its attempts to construct a Simmons trade. To illustrate: There were ill-founded suggestions circulating earlier this week that the 76ers were warming to CJ McCollum, but Dame Lillard is coveted by Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey. The Sixers know they have to get this right and keep insisting that they are determined not to rush into anything.

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