Trade deadline watch: latest updates in the Ben Simmons saga
We’re officially under two weeks away from the NBA trade deadline, and all eyes are on the Philadelphia 76ers. If you’ve been following the team at all over the past six months, you’ve probably heard a report or rumor regarding Ben Simmons linking him to almost every franchise in the association. Friday is no different, but there are a couple of teams making some interesting decisions around trade packages for the three-time All-Star.
Sacramento Kings Update
Of the plethera of teams linked to Ben Simmons, the Sacramento Kings are at the top of the list. Dating back to the offseason, there have been multiple reports regarding multiple packages to have been offered by both sides. At first it was reported the Kings wouldn’t deal any of their high-end young talent like De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton, deterring the 76ers from making any deal with Sacramento.
After a very poor start to the season, the Kings were rumored to be shopping everyone on their team, according to ESPN Insider Tim MacMahon back. Despite making two of the brightest young guards available in trades, Daryl Morey and the 76ers did not waiver in their asking price for Ben Simmons. Some of the speculated deals offered by the 76ers were once again met as “too steep,” a trend in the rumored Daryl Morey packages.
Most recently it got to a point where Sacramento was reportedly open to a deal with Philly for Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. A deal of this magnitude would entail a near 80-million dollar cap hit if both players were dealt. With the reports around the 76ers’ camp at the time suggesting Morey was shopping both players, the Kings were the only team of the many suitors for Ben Simmons to show any sort of interest in trading for both players.
We now arrive to Friday, where Sacramento has done a complete 180. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Kings are now done talking to the 76ers about a deal for Ben Simmons. After all of the time spent reportedly in discussions with the Sixers, it is now certain these teams will not strike a deal before February 10th.
According to Woj, the Kings believe that the asking price for Simmons is still too high and the path to a deal “doesn’t exist” with the 76ers’ front office.
We’ll never know what packages were truly proposed between the two franchises, but a Woj report of talks ending is probably the closest thing we’ll get to hearing them actually call it quits.
A New Reported Hawks-76ers Package
Speaking of reported Daryl Morey packages, one of the latest revolves around a deal with the Atlanta Hawks for Ben Simmons, and the asking price is rather large.
For some context, the Hawks popped up in the Ben Simmons rumor mill earlier in early January as the team began to skid amid heavy COVID issues. Atlanta was reportedly interested in a Simmons-Young pairing, and were willing to flip John Collins in exchange for the former number one pick. In unsurprising fashion, the 76ers and Daryl Morey were not interested in that swap.
Morey and company reportedly offered Simmons for John Collins, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and three first-round picks. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a steep offer from the Sixers front office for Ben Simmons, and likely won’t be the last. In news shocking to no one, the Hawks were reportedly not interested in a swap two of their key players along with heavy draft compensation.
While it is important to take all these reports and rumors with a grain of salt, we have some interesting patterns emerging. We’ve now gotten three separate teams reportedly receiving very large asking prices for Ben Simmons.
With the rumors emerging of James Harden wanting to team up with Joel Embiid next season, it wouldn’t surprise me if Morey is letting these packages hit media airwaves to keep up the idea of a superstar-level deal alive. This is likely just the beginning of what should be a hot trade deadline full of reports for the 76ers, so make sure to stay locked in with us for all coverage here at the Liberty Line.
Mandatory Credit: Yong Kim.