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Report: Celtics interested in Ben Simmons, 76ers want Jaylen Brown

Ben Simmons and Jaylen Brown in Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 1: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers is defended by Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics in the first half at TD Garden on February 1, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

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Marcus Smart said Celtics teammates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown “don’t want to pass the ball.” Brown called those comments “something that we probably didn’t need.”

How broken are Boston’s chemistry and ball movement?

Enough to trade for Ben Simmons?

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

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. 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

Simmons, with his ability to get his team in transition and sharp passing skill, could help Boston.

But he’s not as valuable in a vacuum as Brown, a talented individual multi-level wing scorer who plays solid defense. Brown’s style lends itself well to the playoffs, where Simmons has disappeared.

I wouldn’t read too much into negotiations that, even according to this report, have gained no traction.

Of course, the Celtics are interested in Simmons. He’s a productive young player. Nearly every team should be at least interested, and a call to Philadelphia never hurts. But there’s a big difference between interest and meeting the 76ers’ high asking price. There’s no indication Boston will do the latter.

A trade would be further complicated by Brown’s hamstring injury and lingering symptoms from coronavirus. And of course, there’s Simmons’ ongoing unwillingness to play.

Talk of Simmons to Boston, where he’s particularly mocked for his lack of shooting, is juicy. But that doesn’t make it realistic.