Ben Simmons trade talks are ramping up even more now that the Philadelphia 76ers star point guard has cut off communication with his organization.
Coming off a disastrous playoff appearance, the three-time All-Star is about to see his up-and-down tenure in Philadelphia come to an end ahead of the 2021-22 campaign. We just have no idea when a blockbuster deal is going to be finalized.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves have been among the most involved in talks with the 76ers. However, the NBA insider goes on to note that Philadelphia has been taking a wait-and-see approach — hoping that Ben Simmons could be used as a centerpiece in a deal to acquire Damian Lillard.
Philadelphia’s interest in Lillard is by no means a secret. Unfortunately for front office head Daryl Morey and Co., the six-time All-Star has yet to request a trade and is unlikely to be moved unless that happens.
This puts other teams in an awkward position with the NBA free-agent market completely dry and rosters being finalized.
As for the Warriors’ long-reported interest in Ben Simmons, Lowe reported (h/t NBC Sports Bay Area) that Golden State’s brass is “divided” regarding the potential fit of Simmons with fellow NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalist Draymond Green.
Leading up to the start of the 2021 NBA Draft, it was reported that Philadelphia had demanded both of the Warriors’ first-round selections (seventh, 14th overall), two future first-round picks, Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman for Ben Simmons. The Warriors’ brass laughed it off before more-recent rumors indicated that the two sides were again talking trade — leading to speculation that Philadelphia might have lowered its asking price.
Fits for Ben Simmons in a potential trade
The Minnesota Timberwolves are an intriguing option. Could they potentially offer up D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley as the centerpieces in a potential move for Simmons? Both would stretch the court much more for Philadelphia than what we’ve seen with the Simmons and Joel Embiid pairing.
The question here becomes what else the 76ers would ask for in exchange for the three-time All-Star. It’s reasonable to conclude that the Wolves wouldn’t part with stud young guard Anthony Edwards. With that said, the trio of Edwards, Simmons and Karl-Anthony Towns has to be seen as appealing to Minnesota president Gersson Rosas.
San Antonio also seems to be an intriguing fit in a potential Ben Simmons trade. We’re not 100% sure what the plan is for head coach Gregg Popovich and Co. after a flurry of moves that included long-time Spurs staples such as DeMar DeRozan and Patty Mills heading to other teams.
What we do know is that San Antonio needs star power and continues to be hesitant when it comes to starting anew with a rebuild. Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Keldon Johnson could be of interest to Philadelphia.
As for the Warriors, there’s certainly that question about how Ben Simmons would fit with Green. Both are extremely limited on the offensive end of the court, but provide elite-level defense. The biggest question here is whether Golden State believes Klay Thompson will be back to his old self after missing the past two seasons to injury.
The Warriors are also highly unlikely to part ways with either James Wiseman or rookie No. 7 pick Jonathan Kuminga in a trade. Could a package surrounding Moses Moody, Andrew Wiggins and multiple first-round picks work? We’re not too sure. It’s more likely that a third team would have to get involved.