Look, NBA general managers gotta shoot for the moon. But the idea that the Philadelphia 76ers would want Jaylen Brown in exchange for Ben Simmons is highly laughable.
The Athletic reported Monday that the Celtics engaged the Sixers about Simmons’ availability but noted that talks have gained no traction and that any deal would have to involve Jaylen Brown.
You don’t say.
UPDATE (12:35 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".
The Celtics are not trading Brown, an All-Star talent and one of the strongest young voices in Boston sports, for a player who quit on his team and may or may not have practiced with a cell phone in his pocket waiting to find out where he’s going to be dealt.
The idea of pairing Simmons next to Brown and Jayson Tatum is somewhat intriguing but not without its own concerns. His lack of shooting isn’t ideal, but a 6-foot-11 pass-first point guard with All-Defense capabilities could certainly pair well with the core of this team.
All that said, it’s hard to cobble together a trade that makes any sense for both sides. The Celtics could offer up, say, Marcus Smart, Josh Richardson (who already had one underwhelming stint in Philly), Payton Pritchard, Romeo Langford, and a bunch of future first-round picks.
That’s probably not enough for Philadelphia to be intrigued and the Celtics couldn’t even make that trade until January 17 when Smart (and Richardson 10 days earlier) becomes eligible to be traded.
The one thing we’ll take from this report: Brad Stevens and his front-office staff are doing their due diligence when it comes to exploring potential trades for discounted stars. But if the Celtics weren’t going to trade Jaylen Brown in any potential swap for James Harden, they sure as hell aren’t moving him for Simmons.
The Celtics have one good swing of the bat coming to land an impact talent, likely while preserving the core of this team. Moving an All-Star for a player with a bunch of red flags just makes no sense.
Boston’s early season struggles and Philadelphia’s desire to move Simmons gives some feasibility to the conversations. But a deal seems too difficult between the two teams without the 76ers settling for a less splashy return.
There will be better options out there for Boston without the high price tag or all the concerns.