Warriors

Brown firing might not open door for Dubs-Sixers megadeal

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The Philadelphia 76ers' massive offseason overhaul might not be big enough for the Warriors trade for one of their stars.

Philadelphia fired Brett Brown on Monday, and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that "senior leadership" within the organization has "a strong desire" to keep Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons together. The Sixers, according to Wojnarowski, are going to revamp their front office but are hesitant to explore trades with either player, wanting to give Brown's successor and their staff a chance to "maximize" the duo.

Embiid and Simmons each have made multiple NBA All-Star appearances, and neither player has turned 27. Although the 76ers haven't made it to the Eastern Conference finals in the pair's three seasons together, that's owed more to the players surrounding Embiid and Simmons rather than the stars themselves. Of course Philadelphia wants to exhaust all possible options before pulling the plug on a talented pairing.

The Sixers might have no other choice, however. Simmons and Embiid are two of Philly's four players set to make at least $28 million next season, and their trade value will be astronomically higher than that of Tobias Harris and aging veteran Al Horford. If the Sixers' reportedly soon-to-be-restructured front office wants to improve the team's long-term flexibility, dealing Simmons or Embiid might offer the clearest path to doing so.

The Warriors' No. 2 overall pick this year and the Minnesota Timberwolves' top-three protected pick next year, which Golden State owns, could make tantalizing centerpieces in a potential trade with Philadelphia. Those picks probably are just starting points, however, and the Warriors would need to give up much more than a pair of picks to land an All-Star of Embiid and Simmons' ilk.

 

If the Sixers ultimately decide to trade one of them, NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Chris Mullin has a clear preference in mind.

"I'd go Embiid," Mullin said on the latest episode of the Runnin' Plays podcast. "I love Simmons ... I just feel like with the way that [coach Steve Kerr] plays, he still likes to establish inside-out."

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The 76ers' offseason changes conceivably could inch the possibility of the Warriors trading for Embiid or Simmons ever-so-slightly closer to reality.

But based on Wojnarowski's report, don't bet on that movement happening anytime soon.