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Portland Path Blazers’ Damian Lillard off-limits in commerce talks for Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons

Because the Philadelphia 76ers start to collect momentum in commerce conversations for All-Star guard Ben Simmons, the Portland Trail Blazers reiterated that one of many Sixers’ high targets — All-NBA guard Damian Lillard — is just not out there to be mentioned, sources instructed ESPN.

The Sixers and Blazers related in current days and Portland interim normal supervisor Joe Cronin made clear to Philadelphia that the franchise nonetheless plans to proceed constructing round Lillard, sources stated.

However, the Sixers have gotten extra engaged on a number of fronts in talks centered on Simmons. Philadelphia has been aggressively attempting to assemble two- and three-team deal buildings to land a bundle that would come with a high 25-level participant, sources stated.

A lot of the elevated momentum facilities on Wednesday, when many gamers signed within the offseason as free brokers turn into eligible to be traded. Beginning Dec. 15, 84% of the 446 gamers beneath contract will be included in offers. At the moment, 65% of the league’s gamers are eligible.

The Sixers have lengthy focused Lillard, who reaffirmed his want to remain in Portland across the begin of the crew’s coaching camp. After the recent firing of president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, Cronin has publicly and privately stated the franchise plans to maintain constructing round Lillard. The Blazers have been open to discussing a deal for Simmons centered on guard CJ McCollum, however that dialog by no means gathered traction, sources stated.

Simmons has but to play for Philadelphia this season, saying he was addressing his psychological well being earlier than rejoining the crew. He made a commerce request after the Sixers’ loss to Atlanta within the Jap Convention semifinals final season.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks contributed to this report.

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