We have arrived at another installment of our Trade Rumor Rankings series, where we take the five players who have appeared the most often on our Trade Rumors Page over the past week.
This week is led by Damian Lillard and Myles Turner, star players on two teams that are on unsteady ground.
Let’s get into it.
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia)
Multiple reports came out this week on this front, first from Bleacher Report and then from Marc Stein.
The former reported that Lillard, who will come up later on our list, would like defensive-minded players around him, including – potentially – Simmons:
Simmons was one of several defensively minded wing players who Lillard has expressed interest in playing with since the 2020 offseason, along with Jaylen Brown and Aaron Gordon, sources said.
Later in the week, Stein reported that one of the teams that interest Simmons in potentially joining is none other than the San Antonio Spurs, despite their status as rebuilders:
The Spurs also know that Popovich’s presence still resonates with many players more than anything else San Antonio has to offer as a destination. Example: I’ve heard that Ben Simmons would welcome the opportunity to play for Popovich if the Spurs found a way to acquire him.
Outside of that, we still have a lack of clarity on if and when the Philadelphia 76ers will finally grant Simmons’ wish.
For the latest on the Ben Simmons trade front, click here.
Thaddeus Young (San Antonio)
Speaking of the Spurs, their own veteran swingman Thaddeus Young would clearly like a move to a contender, one more befitting of his talents and experience level.
Young made that clear when talking to Basketball News on the topic on a recent podcast:
“Right now, this situation is not ideal for me,” Young said on The Alex Kennedy Podcast. “I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to settle for 4 and 6 minutes a game.”
“It’s super tough. It’s very tough and frustrating at times,” Young said. “But at the end of the day, I understand where this franchise is going and I understand what’s happening – the young guys have to play. Whatever happens, happens. It’s just a matter of trusting in my faith and trusting in my craft and trusting in the time that I put into the game each and every day. I’m a 15-year veteran and I’m still one of the last to leave the gym and I’m still showing up early, putting in a lot of time and a lot of work.
Young is averaging a career-low 6.4 points per game this season while playing just over 14.0 minutes nightly. On a contender, Young’s finishing ability in the paint and defensive versatility would shine.
For the latest on the Thaddeus Young trade front, click here.
CJ McCollum (Portland)
Despite reports of the tumultuous nature of the Portland Trail Blazers and potential trade talks with the Sixers, CJ McCollum is reportedly not a name Philadelphia is interested in.
That’s at least according to the Philly Voice:
A bit of important reporting we will try not to bury in a recap – a source familiar with the situation spoke to PhillyVoice on Monday evening and said the Sixers have had no recent discussions with Portland regarding a CJ McCollum trade, and a package centered around the Blazers’ guard is not currently of interest to the Sixers.
McCollum also spoke out about Lillard’s level of happiness in Portland, and how he doesn’t believe the superstar point guard wants out, despite reports:
“Me and Dame have a good relationship,” McCollum said. “I think when Dame speaks, you hear him. When you hear ‘sources’ and ‘anonymous’, I don’t necessarily know if that is Dame or not, because it’s not Dame putting his name on it. He generally puts his name on things. I know where he stands with me, and he knows where I stand with him. The organization, they need to do what is best for themselves.” I asked where he thought he stood with Lillard. “If he wanted me to leave, I think he would say that,” McCollum said. “He’s not speaking on me behind closed doors because that’s not in his DNA. He’s not built like that. He’s solid, and I know his word is his bond.”
Something has to break in Portland, though, as the team is disappointing even earlier than usual this season, and may have its potential ceiling as a franchise as presently constituted.
For the latest on the CJ McCollum trade front, click here.
Myles Turner (Indiana)
With news coming out this week of the Indiana Pacers planning a rebuild, Myles Turner’s name has been a hot one on the trade market.
The original report on Indiana’s plans came from The Athletic:
Multiple sources said that the Pacers are receptive in trade dialogue with rival teams centered on potentially moving guard Caris LeVert and either two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis or center Myles Turner. All three players have frequently garnered significant interest from rival teams. Pacers officials have received frequent calls on both of their big men over the past several seasons, but new head coach Rick Carlisle wanted an opportunity to spend time with Sabonis and Turner and grow with the roster.
Turner responded to the report by stating his love for playing for the Pacers:
“I love it (In Indiana). I want to win here with this franchise, for whatever that may be,” Turner said after Indiana’s win over the Knicks Wednesday. “We just gotta get back to bringing excitement and joy back into this building. A lot of that comes from just playing hard, playing like we did tonight. Diving for loose balls and that stuff, that’s what this state appreciates about the way we play basketball and we gotta do that night in and night out.”
Turner may have his flaws, but he’s an elite shot-blocker and can space the floor from beyond the arc, making him the perfect prototype for a modern big man.
Whatever team does try to trade for him will likely have to pay a pretty penny.
For the latest on the Myles Turner trade front, click here.
Damian Lillard (Portland)
For what feels like the millionth time this season, Lillard reiterated this week that he wants to make things work in Portland and has no plans of demanding a trade from the Blazers.
That came a day after a report from ESPN stating that three teams are interested in trying to acquire Lillard.
So, for now, it looks like although Lillard obviously has a lot of eyes on him on the trade market, he still doesn’t want out and wants to truly make things work with the Blazers.
We’ll see if that changes if Portland’s season continues to be mired in mediocrity.
For the latest on the Damian Lillard trade front, click here.