NBA free agency begins at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, and even though plenty of good players will be available, many of the best options for teams looking to make major upgrades are in the trade market.
One player reportedly available via trade is the Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons.
Simmons has some well-documented offensive limitations. He doesn't shoot from 3-point range and his free throw shooting is also poor. That said, he's a triple-double thread on any night and earned his third consecutive All-Star selection during the 2020-21 season. He also averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game last season.
Understandably, the Sixers' asking price for a trade involving Simmons is incredibly high. Just how high?
"At minimum, the Sixers are seeking control of at least four future first-round picks via direct trade or pick swaps, along with an All-Star-level player in most (but not all) scenarios," David Aldridge of The Athletic wrote Monday.
A league exec recently told Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix the Sixers "want what Boston got for KG and Pierce" in exchange for Simmons.
Four first-round picks is a lot for any player. The Celtics received multiple players and three unprotected first-round picks (2014, 2016 and 2018) and the ability to swap 2017 first-rounders from the Nets in the legendary trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013.
It would be foolish for any team to give up that many prime assets for Simmons. He's a really good player, but that type of trade package should be reserved for top five or top 10 players. Simmons is not a top 10 player right now.
The 76ers don't need to trade Simmons immediately. He's got four more years remaining on his contract, so it's not like free agency is around the corner.
It makes sense to set a high asking price for a 25-year-old All-Star, but it would be pretty shocking if another team was willing to pay what Philly reportedly wants.