Just because owner Joe Lacob said it was "unlikely" Golden State would execute a blockbuster trade for a star this offseason doesn't mean the Warriors aren't scouring the market.
ESPN's Zach Lowe reported Wednesday that the Warriors are among the teams who have discussed a deal for Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, but any potential deal with the 76ers has been slowed by Damian Lillard's uncertain future with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Simmons is the only one among them who is available, but his availability is very much tied to the other two -- and probably more to Lillard than Beal, though that can swing in time. Several teams -- including the Warriors, Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves -- have discussed Simmons with varying degrees of interest, sources said, but one reason talks haven't gone far is that the Sixers likely view Simmons as their path to Lillard.
Waiting to see if Lillard will force his way out of Portland makes sense for now. If the 76ers are going to trade Simmons then they'll want a star-caliber player in return to pair with Joel Embiid, and Lillard would give the 76ers everything they've been missing.
Of course, the wait-and-see plan can only work for so long, as teams know that Simmons and the 76ers are on the outs and Philadelphia can't bring him back for training camp given how toxic the relationship has become.
RELATED: Warriors must consider Simmons trade
Should Lillard not become available, the Warriors would have a decent package to offer the 76ers, but it would not contain the star Philadelphia covets to pair with Embiid.
That could mean a third team would need to enter the equation for the Warriors to land Simmons, but we appear to be a long way off from any real movement as the 76ers wait to see what the future holds for Lillard.