Philadelphia 76ers star point guard Ben Simmons remains a holdout from the team with the regular season set to get going in roughly three weeks.
If you’ve followed this situation even in a casual manner, you likely already know that Simmons has requested to be dealt. In turn, the 76ers are threatening to withhold roughly $8 million in bonus money until he reports.
This is just the continuation of an off-season filled with drama surrounding the three-time All-Star and his organization.
Now that we’re at a point in the NBA calendar in which time is running out to pull off a blockbuster trade, rumors are pointing in the direction of the Indiana Pacers having interest in Ben Simmons.
According to Ian Begley of SNY, Indiana and Philadelphia have had trade discussions surrounding the embattled 25-year-old star.
“It is unknown if talks between Philadelphia and Indiana have progressed beyond run-of-the-mill contact,” Begley noted.
One name being bandied about as a centerpiece heading back to Philadelphia for Simmons is guard Caris LeVert. However, other moving parts would also have to head back to the 76ers in order for this to work.
How might a Ben Simmons trade to the Indiana Pacers look?
Financially speaking, both Indiana and Philadelphia are over the NBA salary cap. The salaries would have to pretty much match. With Simmons set to count $33 million against the cap in 2021-22 and LeVert’s salary coming in at $17.5 million, there would have to be more cash heading back to Philly.
More than that, the 76ers are not going to settle for LeVert and mere salary fillers in a Simmons trade. While they will have to lower their previous asking price, that’s not enough to get this done.
Perhaps, a third team gets involved and adds star Pacers center Myles Turner to the mix. He’s been on the trade block on a never-ending loop over the past couple years. In turn, Philadelphia brings in a point guard to replace Simmons while slotting LeVert in at the two.
Related: Updated NBA trade rumors
It seems highly unlikely that Indiana would part with Malcolm Brogdon in any trade for Ben Simmons. The veteran averaged 21.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists a season ago. He was a better all-around player than the better-known Simmons. The same thing could be said about multi-time All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis.
This is where it gets complicated for Philadelphia. Front office head Daryl Morey and Co. seem to be valuing Simmons at a higher clip than other potentially interested suitors. In turn, it’s led to this situation dragging out. Whether talks with Indiana surrounding the star changes the dynamics here remains to be seen.