NBA Trades: 10 win-now deals Portland can make to give Dame a co-star

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers(Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers(Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images) /
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Co-star #4: James Harden

Rumors of James Harden potentially leaving Philadelphia have been around for at least four months, and his former team, the Houston Rockets, may be gearing up to make a run at him. Nothing is set in stone, however.

Philadelphia could beat the Boston Celtics in the East Semifinals and defeat the winner of the New York Knicks-Miami Heat series en route to the NBA Finals. In that case, Harden could stay put. On the other hand, the 76ers could lose to Boston with yet another Joel Embiid post-season injury negatively affecting the Sixers’ title hopes.

That would open the door for the Rockets or even the Blazers to steal him away. While Harden obviously has ties to the Rockets, the Blazers have Lillard. Houston has several good young players and is in a position to add another in this year’s draft, but they don’t appear ready to compete for a championship in the immediate future.

Portland technically isn’t either, but Lillard and Harden would make for a terrific dynamic duo that could give the Blazers a chance to make the playoffs and make some noise. The Blazers would only be able to acquire Harden in a sign-and-trade, something the Sixers might be willing to do rather than have him leave for nothing in free agency. Therefore, a Simons and a first-round pick for Harden deal is at least possible.