Sixers Rumor Mill: A New Team Joins the Mix for Ben Simmons
As the NBA playoffs finally arrives at the finals, the rest of the league isn’t taking any breaks heating up what should be another eventful off-season. The Sixers are set to be a huge talking point for the entire off-season, with much of the discussion centered around 3x All-Star Ben Simmons. Earlier I talked about two teams that have already been rumored to have interest in acquiring Simmons. Now, a third team joins the fray, and this one might have an appealing offer.
Recently a report broke out stating that preliminary talks between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Sacramento Kings had occurred. To be clear, the source could easily be questioned. At first the Kings attempted to center a package for Ben around the team’s best scoring threat Buddy Hield. Hield has been a rumored Sixers trade target for years now, thanks to his mutli-level scoring ability and reliable three point jump shot. Now, the deal has seemed to shifted center pieces, and the new player offered is one that peaked my interest.
For weeks I’ve been preaching for the Sixers to go out and get a true point guard. The modern NBA revolves around the back court play. That’s not disrespect towards the impact Joel Embiid makes, but pairing him with an All-Star in the back court is a necessary commodity. De’Aaron Fox is a player that could fill that void easily. Fox is a young point guard with insane speed and agility paired with an innate ability to score. The prospect of a Fox-Embiid pick and roll offense is enough to get me on board for the Sixers 2021-22 campaign.
Fox could easily slide into the starting lineup, and Tobias Harris could move back to a more comfortable power forward position. The Sixers would finally adapt to the new-look, smaller starting lineup, while adding a young player with all-star capabilities in the backcourt. The passing ability is there too, as each year Fox’s passing ability has improved. His rookie campaign saw him average around 4.5 assists a game. This season, Fox ended with an average of nearly eight assists per game.
Now there are some issues with aquiring Fox. For starters, Fox will never have the defensive ability Ben Simmons brings. While he has averaged a steal a night throughout his career, there’s just no way to justify that his defense will fill the void left with the depature of Simmons. Secondly and more importantly, Fox is set to play the first year of his massive five-year, 163 million dollar deal. By trading Simmons for Fox the Sixers wouldn’t be creating much extra cap space, and also are betting on the fact that Fox can play at an All-Star level. While his numbers certainly support that logic, Fox has yet to play any meaningful games due to the poor performances of the Sacramento Kings in his time there. Could he play to his contract on a championship-caliber roster like the Sixers? Who knows.
For now, Sixers fans have nothing to get too excited about. I am positive tons of teams have reached out to Daryl Morey to conduct “preliminary talks” about acquiring Ben Simmons. Until something more concrete comes out, all we can do is speculate off the few rumors that reach the masses.
Mandatory Credit: Drew Smith COVER BOMB.