The Philadelphia 76ers have yet to find a trade partner for star point guard Ben Simmons.
Simmons has not played in a game for the Sixers over the first few weeks of the season. It's clear he doesn't want to play for Philly anymore, but so far the team has dug in and shown no willingness to take just any deal.
It's the right play for the Sixers. Simmons is an All-Star caliber talent and has three more years left on his contract beyond this season.
So, who could be a potential suitor for Simmons?
Surprisingly, the Boston Celtics have shown an interest, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.
"The Boston Celtics have engaged in conversations with the 76ers revolving around Simmons and expressed interest in the 6-foot-11 guard, sources tell The Athletic," Charania wrote.
"Talks have been fluid with no traction as of yet, those sources say. Any potential Simmons deal with the Celtics would have to include All-Star forward Jaylen Brown, an ascending talent who is in the midst of another career season, averaging 25.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists."
UPDATE (Monday, Nov. 8 at 12:34 p.m. ET): Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald tweeted Monday that the report of the Celtics talking to the Sixers about Simmons is "untrue".
--End of Update--
If Brown has to be part of the deal, the Celtics should end any interest in acquiring Simmons. Brown is a better, more consistent and more reliable player than Simmons.
Specifically, Brown is a far superior offensive player. He has a complete offensive game that includes beating defenders off the dribble and finishing at the basket, converting from mid-range and shooting close to 40 percent from 3-point range.
Brown is a two-way, versatile wing just starting the prime of his career.
Simmons won't even attempt 3-pointers. He also doesn't shoot free throws well and his inability to perform in clutch situations -- or even want the ball in those scenarios -- are huge red flags. Simmons is an elite defensive player, but the cons outweigh the pros when debating a potential Brown-for-Simmons deal.
The last thing this Celtics roster needs is less shooting, which would be one of the outcomes of a Simmons trade.