Home Sports CJ McCollum for Ben Simmons works for both

CJ McCollum for Ben Simmons works for both

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Ben Simmons is probably out of favor in Philly. The Portland Trail Blazers make a great business partner by sending CJ McCollum to the Sixers.

After the Philadelphia 76ers were upset in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, trade rumors of Ben Simmons immediately surfaced. Some of them have hinted that the Portland Trail Blazers are sending CJ McCollum in a deal to get the 24-year-old All-Star. I wanted to add an analysis to explain why I think this would be the PERFECT trade for both teams. Here are three reasons why this profession works for every team.

How Ben Simmons Helps The Portland Trail Blazers

1. Instantly improve Portland’s defense

In one of my recent posts, I commented that I think most of Portlands’ starting XI are playing out of position. I’ve often wondered what it would be like if CJ was drafted a year before Dame and not the other way around. CJ, in my mind, was always a forced PG to play SG for Portland because they already had Dame.

Norman Powell, acquired in the business of Gary Trent, played a small forward this season for an exhausted Blazers team. He is better suited as a shooting guard than as a front row player. Robert Covington always played his best ball as a small 3-and-D forward. He was out of position last season as an undersized power forward.

Removing CJ and moving Powell and Roco to their most natural positions becomes an even better option for Portland when they add Ben Simmons’ defensive and ball-handling skills to the power forward. They’re three above-average defenders hitting the lanes, two of whom were All-NBA Defense First Teamers (Simmons and Covington). Simmons is already doing more defensively than the Portland Trail Blazers ever hoped Zach Collins would be.

2. Simmons will greatly help Jusuf Nurkic

If anything has been learned in the Blazers’ last four years of basketball, aside from Dame, this team lives and dies by the health and impact of Jusuf Nurkic. They circle around the eighth seed / miss the playoffs entirely without him and were a top 3 seed when he was in good health. Additionally, improving the Blazers’ perimeter defense would allow Nurkic to compensate defensively less often and ultimately become a larger offensive threat.

All the heartache people gave Nurkic during that first round series against the Nuggets completely ignored the fact that Nurkic had no real defensive help while trying to stop the league MVP. Undersized in their positions, forwards Covington and Powell were not able to help Nurkic as much as one might have hoped. At the other end of the pitch, an exhausted and fault-ridden Nurkic rarely played in situations where he could secure inside goal opportunities. Portland didn’t use Nurkic offensively to the best of his ability. Ben is exactly the kind of forward who would help Nurkic.

Next: Page 2 – Upping Dame’s Game

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