Ben Simmons still is on the Philadelphia 76ers, but as Marc Stein reported Tuesday, the former No. 1 overall draft pick is someone who could be moved in the coming days and the Sacramento Kings continue to be a team with interest.
“Just scan through the teams that have been linked to a Simmons trade already: Cleveland, Indiana, Minnesota and Sacramento are known suitors. Toronto is also said to have expressed interest,” Stein writes. “More will emerge.”
There is no question that Simmons is on the Kings' radar and he has been since the 76ers' flame out in the NBA playoffs. Stein added this note to his analysis, which is an extremely important point.
“The length of Simmons’ contract, if not the dollars, only adds to his appeal to teams that do not typically attract free agents,” Stein said.
The Kings aren’t a free agent hot bed, but plenty of players who find themselves landing in Sacramento via trade have stuck around long-term.
Simmons is an impact player on the defensive end and he fits the current age arc of the Kings’ team. He has some flaws as a player, but he’s a three-time NBA All-Star and still has plenty of time to develop.
A deal between the two teams would be complex and there might not be any common ground. The Kings don’t have an All-Star player to offer, which has been the rumored asking price.
Sacramento does have De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, but it’s hard to see general manager Monte McNair adding either of his young guards in a trade. That would be more or a one step forward, one step backwards proposition.
McNair has a long standing relationship with Sixers president of basketball ops Daryl Morey from their time together in Houston. That doesn’t mean a lot when it comes to finalizing a swap of this magnitude.
Philly is in win-now mode and the Kings have some solid veteran starters to offer like Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and Delon Wright, as well as the No. 9 overall pick in the upcoming draft. They also have their first-round draft picks moving forward and a handful of extra second-round selections as well.
Simmons has four years and $147 million remaining on a max contract extension, although matching salaries would not be all that difficult for Sacramento. The question is whether the Kings can come up with a competitive offer if the Sixers decide to make the 24-year-old available.
The NBA Draft is a little over two weeks away and the Kings plan to be active. Whether that includes a substantial run at Simmons is unknown at this point, but the fact that they are still being linked to a potential trade is interesting, to say the least.