The Portland Trail Blazers have been in the headlines since the season began last October. Damian Lillard features at the center of it all, but the front office has had its fair share of other issues as well. They recently fired general manager Neil Olshey in a move that many believed to be long overdue, for what the team stated was in violation of their code of conduct, coming only a few months after the ouster of former head coach Terry Stotts and the hiring of Chauncey Billups – a move criticized by many. With an 11-14 record, the team looks very similar to last year’s, along with their defensive issues remaining apparent. In fact, they have gotten the doors blown off of them in their last two games.
Statement from the Portland Trail Blazers pic.twitter.com/W9j4V3nNl2 — Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 3, 2021
LILLARD EXPRESSES INTEREST IN SIMMONS AMIDST FRUSTATION WITH CLUB Information coming to light regarding the team’s star player, Damian Lillard is that he is growing frustrated with the organization. While Lillard remains loyal to the Blazers, there is some thought that the star might be reaching his breaking point with the organization and might request a trade soon. There also appears to be a rift brewing between Billups and the players due to the coach’s rotation method and approach to tactics. But the biggest news out of the information is the expression of interest by Lillard in having out of favor Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons, traded to the Blazers.
Damian Lillard has expressed interest in playing with several ‘defensively minded wing players’ like Ben Simmons, Jaylen Brown and Aaron Gordon, per @JakeLFischer pic.twitter.com/G9TYP8naX0 — NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) December 7, 2021
Simmons has yet to play a game for the 76ers this season as he wants out. He has been dealing with mental health issues and has been fined for declining to speak with their mental health experts about it. The whole situation is a mess, to say the least. With this new information, it remains to be seen if a trade would occur sooner than later. It was rumored that the 76ers asked for CJ McCollum, a first-round pick, and one of Anfernee Simons or Nassir Little for Ben Simmons, and the Trail Blazers said No. As it seems, ‘No’ might not be the best answer anymore with Damian Lillard clearly growing more and more frustrated as the Trail Blazers need to do something about the not too impressive results and they need to do it sooner than later. HOW WOULD THE LILLARD/SIMMONS PARTNERSHIP FARE? Will Simmons next to Lillard bump the Trail Blazers to a respectable spot in the West? Maybe, maybe not. Will Jusuf Nurkic become a consistent version of the All-Star version of himself should the team become more of a threat, but nobody is betting on that. However, change is needed in the Northwest. This roster does not fit quite well in Portland, especially with the aggressive defensive style Billups wants to play. Changes have to be made and it could be a big start. Whether it’s Simmons or someone else, changes are expected to occur in Portland as we approach the trade deadline.
Damian Lillard would like to play with Ben Simmons in Portland, per @ShamsCharania and @sam_amick Acquiring Simmons 'would instantly improve' Portland's 30th-ranked defense pic.twitter.com/YbYbwNF53j — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 6, 2021