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NBA rumors: 3-team trade involving Harden, Lillard that would completely break the NBA Semrushtools

The three-team trade that gets James Harden and Damian Lillard new homes

So, knowing the Clippers would be open to Harden, and Philly wants Lillard, why not try to do this all at once?

The first-round pick here comes from the Sixers, and the second-round pick comes from the Clippers (via the Raptors).

The architecture here is relatively simple. In addition to the draft capital, outgoing for the Clips is Hyland, Batum, and Powell. Not pictured in the graphic above is Amir Cofey, who goes to Portland to balance salary.

Outgoing for the Sixers is Maxey and Harden.

Outgoing for the Blazers is Lillard.

Why the Blazers would do this trade

Short answer: They have to?

The Blazers have few options, as is the case with most teams when a star requests a trade, now that Lillard has asked for a trade. They’ll still get good value, but ultimately less than they’d like.

So, they retool with a cast of role players and draft picks to help them navigate into the future without Lillard. They’d certainly like to get more draft picks than they receive as a part of this deal, but they can easily look to flip Powell, Batum, or Maxey in exchange for picks this season. Competitors could use any of those three as a part of their playoff push.

In my opinion, the Blazers should hold onto Maxey and try to re-flip the other two. Maxey, alongside Jerami Grant and Scoot Henderson, can become a primary or secondary scorer almost immediately and be a star focal point of the Blazers’ next chapter.

While I think this deal ultimately gets the Blazers stuck in the middle, they’ve glued themselves in that position with the 5 year, $160 million Jerami Grant deal anyway. Unless Grant takes a huge leap forward as the first option in Portland, that deal will be proverbial handcuffs for Portland in the next few years.

Batum previously played in Portland, so if they kept him around it would be a reunion for him and the place he had his career breakout.



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