To say that the Philadelphia 76ers have overplayed their hand when it comes to Ben Simmons trade talks would be an understatement.
Four future first-round picks and a couple young players from the San Antonio Spurs. Recently, it was reported that Philadelphia demanded Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman and four first-round picks from the Golden State Warriors. That was laughed right off.
This all falls in line with a new report suggesting that Philadelphia is demanding four first-round picks via direct trade or pick swaps and an All-Star caliber player in return for Ben Simmons.
“Multiple league sources maintain that Philly’s asking price for Ben Simmons on the eve of free agency remains sky-high. At minimum, the Sixers are seeking control of at least four future first-round picks via direct trade or pick swaps, along with an All-Star-level player in most (but not all) scenarios. Philly has engaged in discussions with teams around the league since mid-July,” David Aldridge of The Athletic reported on Monday.
Assuming 76ers front office head Daryl Morey lowers his asking price for Simmons, there’s still going to be a few teams interested in his services. But that’s the caveat. Philadelphia will more than likely move the three-time All-Star at some point this summer. It will just have to find a happy medium. Here’s a look at three teams who could still have interest in the struggling point guard.
San Antonio Spurs make a move for Ben Simmons
It’s safe to assume that DeMar DeRozan will be departing in free agency. This would seem to be the best possible opportunity for San Antonio to start anew with a rebuild. I just don’t see it with Gregg Popovich entering the twilight of his career.
Instead, there’s a scenario in place that suggests San Antonio uses its $53 million in cap space to add an All-Star caliber free agent. It could then turn to a blockbuster trade for Ben Simmons, using some of the salaries the team has on its roster to make this work. Something to the tune of Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson and two future first-round picks might be enough to entice Philadelphia.
Portland Trail Blazers finally pull the trigger on Ben Simmons
Over the past several weeks, we’ve heard rumors linking Portland to a swap that would send two-guard C.J. McCollum to Philadelphia for Simmons. It almost makes sense for both sides. One of the biggest downfalls for the Blazers during another early playoff exit was their performance on defense last season. Both McCollum and Damian Lillard leave a lot to be desired on that end.
As a reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalist, Simmons would change this in a big way. It’s also important to note that Blazers general manager Neil Olshey is under a ton of pressure to build a better supporting cast behind Dame as a way to prevent a trade request.
As for Philadelphia, finding more perimeter shooting to team up with Joel Embiid has to be the overriding priority this summer. A career 40% three-point shooter, McCollum would provide that and a lot more. Perhaps, Portland also sweetens the pot with young guard Anfernee Simons in this hypothetical trade.
Golden State Warriors add Ben Simmons
After using their two lottery picks on teenagers, the Warriors’ brass made it clear that they are not going to mortgage their future for someone other than Bradley Beal. That obviously means James Wiseman is a no-go in any potential trade for Ben Simmons. Philadelphia would also have to lower its asking price of four first-round picks.
In no way does this mean the two sides can’t come to terms on a blockbuster trade. Right now, Andrew Wiggins might be the highest-caliber player the 76ers would be able to acquire for Simmons. He’s a better all-around player than the aforementioned McCollum. From there, Golden State could offer up two future first-round picks and perhaps Jordan Poole. He could be expendable after the Warriors selected fellow guard Moses Moody No. 14 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft.