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Kings reportedly ‘highly unlikely’ to trade De’Aaron Fox for Simmons, anyone

As the Sixers reportedly discuss trades involving Ben Simmons, Michael Holley and Mike Smith debate what Philly should demand in return -- and whether Simmons' offensive struggles are a red flag.

The Kings have placed their bet on De’Aaron Fox, signing him to a $163 million max contract extension that kicks in next season. He is one of the cornerstones of what Sacramento is building.

Yet, when veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein mentioned the Kings were among the teams that reached out to the 76ers about a potential Ben Simmons trade, the speculation started. Win-now Philadelphia wants an All-Star level perimeter player back for Simmons, and Fox is the only guy on the Kings who fits that mold.

It’s not happening, reports Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.

The potential for a deal is there, but the 76ers are reportedly seeking an All-Star caliber player in return. De’Aaron Fox would probably fit that description, but sources have maintained the Kings are highly unlikely to trade their dynamic 23-year-old point guard. The Sacramento Bee has confirmed the Kings have expressed interest in Simmons, but Fox has not been discussed in any trade talks...

Sacramento would probably be willing to offer a package that includes Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III and one or more future first-round draft picks. One league source recently told The Bee the Kings would have to send a minimum of three first-round picks to the 76ers in a trade constructed around Hield and Bagley. Another source said the 76ers wouldn’t be interested unless Fox or Haliburton were included in the trade, but Hield’s elite 3-point shooting and Bagley’s unrealized potential could be appealing if a better deal doesn’t materialize.

Hield, Bagley — and it doesn’t really matter what else the Kings throw in if it’s not Fox — would not be enough to get a trade done. 76ers GM Daryl Morey is big game hunting with the Simmons trade, and if Fox is not part of the trade there’s not much motivation for Philly to play along.

From the Kings’ perspective, a lineup of Simmons, Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes, and a center (maybe they re-sign Richaun Holmes) is solid to good, and with a lot of potential. It’s easy to see why Kings’ GM Monte McNair at least made the call. It’s just hard to see how a trade comes together without Fox.