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A blockbuster trade involving Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons is reportedly a very real possibility, as negotiations have begun with multiple teams already.
The Athletic‘s Shams Charania reported on the latest buzz surrounding out of Philadelphia on Tuesday, and it’s pretty clear that it’s a matter of “if” not “when” a Simmons trade happens:
“The 76ers have opened up trade conversations surrounding Simmons and have engaged with teams, sources told The Athletic. Those sources also say that teams that have engaged with the 76ers about Simmons have been met with a high price threshold for the three-time All-Star. […] Make no mistake: Interest across the league in Simmons remains robust.”
Simmons struggled throughout the 2021 NBA playoffs, as the Sixers once again disappointed in the postseason, bowing out in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round.
According to a source who spoke to Charania, Philadelphia is seeking an All-Star player as part of a Simmons trade package. GM Daryl Morey is determined to upgrade the roster and push the 76ers into true championship contention.
Despite shooting a nightmarish 34.2% from the foul line in the playoffs, Simmons still has immense value and upside to explore. He turns 25 later in July, is a phenomenal athlete with amazing court vision, passing ability and defensive versatility that’s almost unmatched by anyone in the NBA right now.
The big question up until now is whether a trade suitor would be willing to sacrifice enough assets under the assumption Simmons can improve upon his shortcomings as a player, namely his jump shot. Apparently, there’s a widespread belief around the league that Simmons’ shooting woes are fixable, and that he’s motivated enough to make those adjustments with hard work in the offseason.
All kinds of trade scenarios are flying around about Simmons already with the NBA Finals still going on. If he winds up realizing his full potential in his prime, Simmons could be a top-five player in the league very easily. On the other hand, the floor he could very realistically hit may not be worth Philly’s high asking price.