Ben Simmons’ future looms over most matters related to the Sixers.
As the July 29 NBA draft approaches, the team has reportedly progressed to a new stage on the Simmons question.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Tuesday that “the 76ers have opened up trade conversations surrounding Simmons and have engaged with teams.”
Per Charania, “teams that have engaged with the 76ers about Simmons have been met with a high price threshold for the three-time All-Star,” with the Sixers seeking an “All-Star-caliber player in return.”
Nothing about the Sixers’ approach with Simmons has been surprising yet. Late last month, ESPN reported the Sixers were internally discussing Simmons while other teams gauged their interest in potential trades. Despite Simmons’ well-chronicled shooting issues, he brings a lot to the table whether or not he’s ever willing to take regular in-game jumpers or becomes a good foul shooter. For teams that are young and/or searching for defensive help, Simmons would be an obvious potential target.
The Sixers recognize dealing him away could be a path to upgrade the roster around MVP runner-up Joel Embiid, and they’re exploring what’s out there. President of basketball operations Daryl Morey has shown himself to be unafraid of calculated, franchise-altering risks.
“Not addressing Ben Simmons, but any move that will help our team win the championship or improve our odds, we will look at and do if it makes sense to do that,” Morey said at his end-of-season press conference.
According to The Athletic, “Interest across the league in Simmons remains robust.”
We’ll likely learn more soon about which teams are in the Simmons mix and whether any offer compels Morey to pull the trigger.
NBA reporter Marc Stein on Tuesday named the Cavaliers, Pacers, Timberwolves and Kings as "known suitors." Stein wrote that the Raptors are "also said to have expressed interest."