In reality, their pursuit of Lillard is only a few months old but it feels like longer because their desire for him is so strong.
No one can blame the 76ers for their interest in Lillard since he’s easily one of the best players alive and one of the most impressive point guards of all time.
But what are the concrete, solid reasons that Philadelphia not only wants Lillard but actually needs him if they hope to compete deep into the postseason?
3. He’s A Team Leader
It’s been a long, long time since Philadelphia has been so good.
In fact, they are better than they have been in years and are this close to actually being ready for the Finals.
But even with all their talent and determination, the team is lacking a central figurehead to lead them.
Joel Embiid is the star of the team but he’s too young and inexperienced to guide his squad forward.
However, Lillard has been in the association for a while and has gone deep into the playoffs.
He would bring his cool head, wisdom, and brilliant basketball IQ to the team and will help them become stronger and smarter.
Plus, Lillard is still one of the most impressive three-point shooters in all the league and Philly definitely wants that sort of firepower in their lineup.
Damian Lillard hasn’t missed a beat. 19 points and 5 three-pointers on 75% FG midway through the 3rd 🔥
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 5, 2021
2. He Can Take Pressure Off Embiid
Embiid is a fantastic basketball player but even he would admit that he has a lot on his shoulders.
With the absence of Ben Simmons, the team is relying on Embiid to be an offensive and defensive leader and that’s just too much to ask of one young man.
Of course he’s great at both sides of the court but he is being stretched too thin.
Joel Embiid's defense has been otherworldly this year, best I've seen from him during the regular season since his rookie season pic.twitter.com/kQzDl5TbH4
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) December 6, 2021
If Lillard made his way to the 76ers, a lot of pressure would be taken off of Embiid and he’d be able to find a more natural, productive rhythm to his game.
He could spend a lot more time in the paint on defense and could turn to a reliable partner when it comes to offense.
Returning to the point about being a team leader, Embiid is definitely the heart-and-soul of the team currently but he would gladly accept help with leadership.
With Lillard on board, Embiid could relax a little – and become a better player because of it.
1. He Would Leave The Simmons Era Behind
The Simmons fiasco is downright embarrassing at this point and the sooner it’s over, the better.
Ever since in-fighting made its way into the public during the summer, the Simmons situation has overshadowed the team and left its future in question.
Not only is the whole debacle annoying for the team, it’s financially draining too.
Philly wants to lighten their contractual load and get rid of the storm cloud that is Simmons and Lillard could be the key to that.
76ers management has said they will only accept an All-Star player in exchange for Simmons and that’s precisely what Lillard is.
So a trade for Lillard would not only radically benefit the team but it would finally get Simmons off their books and out of their hair once and for all, allowing them to really and truly move forward.
Plus, if Portland has to lose Lillard, receiving Simmons in his place is probably the best they’ll get right now – and he would hopefully help with their defensive woes.
But make no mistake: Philly would definitely be getting the better end of this deal, and it would be one that changes them forever.