NBA rumors: Tyrese Maxey is the hang-up in the Damian Lillard-James Harden trade

According to an NBA insider, the Trail Blazers would be open to a Damian Lillard for James Harden trade but only if they're getting Tyrese Maxey.

Michael Rubin x Fanatics x NBPA Summer Players Party
Michael Rubin x Fanatics x NBPA Summer Players Party / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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According to Bobby Marks, the Sixers have been unable to use James Harden as a trade piece in a three-team deal that would allow the team to acquire Damian Lillard because they do not want to include Tyrese Maxey. Philly has been locked in the James Harden trade saga since negotiations between the Clippers and Sixers broke down.

Philadelphia and Harden's representatives seem to be nowhere near finding a suitable trade partner with Daryl Morey looking for a perfect trade. It seems like this situation ends up with Harden in a Clippers jersey but the Sixers want more first-round picks in any deal.

Should the Sixers give up Tyrese Maxey right now in a Lillard deal?

The short answer to this NBA question is No. Philly should wait until they are able to get their trade return from a Harden deal. While it will likely be contract expiring and one or two first-round picks, doing this allows Morey to evaluate their entire roster. Even though Maxey is in the last year of his rookie deal, any team that acquires him controls free agency due to the fact that he is a restricted free agent.

With only two more years on Embiid's contract before his player option, the Sixers only have one or two good shots at surrounding him with All-NBA talent. Maxey might not all-NBA player yet but he is certainly a player on his way to that. Currently, right now, he is a near-All-Star-level talent who is still developing at 22.

With the short timeline that the Sixers have with Embiid, it might be wise for them to ship Maxey for the next all-NBA player that becomes available. Still, this is something that the Sixers can evaluate down the line. Therefore, the Sixers should not offer Maxey in any deal for All-NBA talent right now.

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