Bill Simmons speculates what Kings could offer for Ben Simmons


As the 2021-22 NBA trade deadline nears, the name of Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons continues to swirl around in rumors among league pundits.

Once again, he’s been linked to the Kings.

After Mark Spears of The Undefeated reported the 76ers want to package veteran forward Tobias Harris in any Simmons deal, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons tossed out a possibility on his podcast Wednesday for the Kings and Sixers to merge as trade partners.

Simmons, the former No. 1 overall pick and three-time All-Star, hasn’t played in 2021-22 after requesting for a trade this summer. Harris is guaranteed $37 million next season and $39 million in 2023-24 before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

The deal proposed on the podcast was for Sacramento to send Harrison Barnes, Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield along with either Tristan Thompson or Marvin Bagley III in exchange for Simmons and Harris.

Sacramento previously said Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox wouldn’t be involved in trade talks. However, a report from Sam Amick of The Athletic last week indicated the Kings would be willing to include one of their rising stars in a trade if the return was right.

Thinking for Sacramento, Bill Simmons prefers to give up Fox than Haliburton.

“I like Haliburton more than most,” Simmons said. “I do feel like that [the Sixers] would be a good team. All of a sudden, I’ve accomplished a lot in that trade that I want to do.”

Losing Haliburton, a promising second-year guard who is shooting 43.9 percent from deep and averaging 13.9 points and 6.9 assists per game in 2021-22, would sting Sacramento.

“That’s no small thing,” guest Rob Mahoney said on the podcast. “That could be a future pillar of your franchise. If you’re the Sixers, you’d definitely have to be sold on Haliburton. Could we be a contender if our best players are Haliburton, Seth Curry and [Joel] Embiid? That’s a big question. … You’d have to really be sold on Haliburton as that kind of [star] player. And if he’s that kind of player, I don’t know that you want to give him up if you’re the Kings.”

Adding Ben Simmons to the Kings' roster would certainly bring a level of star power not seen in Sacramento in quite some time.

But at what cost?