NBA

Ben Simmons trade rumors: Kings interested in 76ers star, highly unlikely to deal De’Aaron Fox, per report

The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly listening to trade offers for Ben Simmons, and there is no shortage of suitors for the three-time All-Star. One team that is interested in acquiring Simmons is the Sacramento Kings, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. However, the Sixers are looking for an All-Star-caliber talent in exchange for Simmons, and the Kings may be unwilling to meet their asking price. While the Kings would be willing to part with players like Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III, dynamic guard De’Aaron Fox appears to be off the table, per Anderson. 

If the Kings remain unwilling to include Fox — or promising young guard Tyrese Haliburton — in trade talks, it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to get a deal done with Philadelphia. 

From Anderson: 

The potential for a deal is there, but the 76ers are reportedly seeking an All-Star caliber player in return [for Simmons]. De’Aaron Fox would probably fit that description, but sources have maintained the Kings are highly unlikely to trade their dynamic 23-year-old point guard. The Sacramento Bee has confirmed the Kings have expressed interest in Simmons, but Fox has not been discussed in any trade talks.

Sacramento would probably be willing to offer a package that includes Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III and one or more future first-round draft picks. One league source recently told The Bee the Kings would have to send a minimum of three first-round picks to the 76ers in a trade constructed around Hield and Bagley. Another source said the 76ers wouldn’t be interested unless Fox or Haliburton were included in the trade, but Hield’s elite 3-point shooting and Bagley’s unrealized potential could be appealing if a better deal doesn’t materialize.

In addition to the Kings, other teams interested in Simmons include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors, according to NBA reporter Marc Stein. Other suitors are likely to emerge. 

From the Sixers’ side of things, there’s no reason to rush a deal. Despite his postseason struggles, Simmons still brings a whole lot to the floor, especially on the defensive end. As such, the Sixers have to approach a move in a measured manner, rather than overreact to his poor playoff performance. If you’re going to trade a player of Simmons’ caliber, you need to get a player, or two, in return who will improve the team markedly. The Sixers are well aware of this, and that’s exactly why they’re reportedly only willing to move Simmons in exchange for an already established All-Star-caliber player.  

This is a wise approach from Philadelphia, though it may ultimately make finding a deal difficult, as there aren’t typically too many All-Star-caliber players available on the market. The Sixers are hoping for an opportunity to land Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard, per The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, and for good reason. If you’re going to trade Simmons, Lillard is the exact type of player you’d want in return — a star who provides the team with something it didn’t previously have, who projects to pair excellently with Joel Embiid and who could immediately raise the team’s ceiling, especially on the offensive end.  If Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal became available, he’s another star the Sixers could feel good about flipping Simmons for. 

If a player of that ilk isn’t available this offseason, the Sixers would probably be wise to bring Simmons back next season and see how things go. Perhaps he’ll improve markedly over the offseason. If not, Philadelphia can always evaluate its options leading up to the trade deadline. 



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