Houston Rockets 3 3-team trades #1: Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers
If the Rockets go from almost trading James Harden for Ben Simmons and picks to trading for Damian Lillard and Ben Simmons in one move, then it'll be official that they won the James Harden trade. This trade might make the Rockets championship co-favorites with the Brooklyn Nets.
Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard are a perfect pairing and when you add in Chrisitan Wood's ability to space the floor and roll to the rim the Rockets would have one of the most deadly spread pick-and-roll attacks in the league. Add in Simmons' defensive versatility and the Rockets have a chance to be a top-five offense and defense.
The Sixers aren't going to give up Simmons for nothing. They're getting CJ McCollum, a protected 1st round pick in 2024, and a protected pick swap in 2025. McCollum probably isn't as good as Simmons but he fits much better next to Embiid and the additional assets should allow Philadelphia to round out a championship roster.
The Trail Blazers are losing a lot but they're also getting an absolute haul back. Landing the 2nd, 23rd, 24th, and 28th picks in the 2021 NBA draft, one of the best and deepest in memory, puts their rebuild on the fast track. Add in potentially valuable Rockets and Brooklyn Nets' picks in 2026 and 2027 and the draft capital they received easily beats the Harden trade.
The icing on top for the Trail Blazers is they get to see if Kevin Porter Jr is the real deal. He is essentially another lottery pick based on his age and talent. The only downside is they have to take on John Wall's contract but that isn't such a big deal when you're sending over $74 million in salary out the door.