Looks like we’re getting closer to the Ben Simmons deal.
After months of inactivity, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Monday that the 76ers are “intensify their efforts to spark multi-group commercial scenarios“to move three times All-Star. The timing of the news is not a big surprise, as the trade talks around Simmons are expected to happen around December 15 when the majority of players contracted during the season becomes eligible to be traded.
Charania added that it is “unclear” how much traction the 76ers have had with the teams on the go, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported over the weekend that commercial conversations on Simmons were “Collect motivation. “
◻️ Knicks, Lakers in the group of teams interested in Ben Simmons
◻️ Hawks Management Department received contract extension; GM assistant Landry Fields likely to be promoted to GM
◻️ Teams chasing Pistons star Jerami Grant@ShamsCharania‘s Inside Pass ️ https://t.co/6Yy3ClWhnV
– The Athletic (@TheAthletic) December 13, 2021
We have reviewed it before Which team can move for Simmons before that, but a few more teams have joined the conversation since then.
Ben Simmons . Commercial Destinations Update
According to Charania, the Lakers and the Knicks are among the teams interested in Simmons.
Fascinating to see Simmons and LeBron James on the same team, the Lakers face an uphill battle over finding any player of Simmons’ caliber. Everyone knows that the 76ers are looking for a “Top 25 players“for Simmons. If we assume James and Anthony Davis are off the table for obvious reasons, then the only player left on their list from far away from making it to the top 25 of the conversation is Russell Westbrook.
At this stage of his career, will Westbrook move enough pointers for the 76ers? Probably not, but the 76ers basketball executive chairman Daryl Morey would know better than most, as he traded for Westbrook when he called the shots in Houston.
Talen Horton-Tucker may garner interest around the league, but he’s not nearly enough to pitch a deal for Simmons. (Also, Horton-Tucker is not eligible to be traded until January 15th.)
The Knicks, who have struggled so far this season and may be looking to change things up, have a little more flexibility than the Lakers – New York has a more diverse salary collection, plus some interesting young prospects on his list – but they are limited by Derrick Rose not being eligible to trade until January 15th and Julius Randle are not eligible to trade until February 3.
Rose’s contract ($13.4 million) will help match the salary in a deal for Simmons, and he has proven himself to be an influential player off the bench. Randle’s numbers hit it off this season, but he won both the All-Star and the All-NBA last season.
Teams we already know
Charania also mentioned the Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Kings, Pacers and Cavaliers among the teams interested in Simmons.
You can read more about what it will take for the Timberwolves, Trail Blazers and Kings to get Simmons and how he fits into each team. here.
NBA insider Marc Stein mentioned the Pacers as one of the “known suitors“for Simmons early in the process, and they’ve been in the news since The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz reported they were”receptive in commercial dialogue with rival groups focusing on mobility“Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis or Myles Turner.
With Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond on the roster, the 76ers don’t need much of Turner, but they’ll probably be interested in LeVert or Sabonis in some capacity.
The Cavaliers were soon different”the suitor knew“for Simmons. Cleveland has been much more competitive than expected this season, led by the young core of Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. On September 23rd. Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reports that the Cavaliers don’t have any “untouchables” on their roster, although Mobley and Garland are “closest to that designation.” Is that still the case?
Notable: Collin Sexton, who averaged a career-best 24.3 points per game last season, is out for the rest of the regular season with a torn meniscus. He will be a restricted free agent for the season.
The Warriors deserve a mention, just because they have the assets to make a big splash.
Three other teams to keep an eye on: San Antonio, Boston and Brooklyn.
NBA insider Marc Stein report which Simmons would “welcome the opportunity to play for [Gregg] Popovich. “The Spurs don’t have the top 25 players, but they do have Dejounte Murray, who is making another big leap this season, plus some rotations like Keldon Johnson, Derrick White and Devin Vassell.
For the Celtics, The Athletic’s Shams Charania report a month ago, they were “engaging in conversations with the 76ers” around Simmons. At the time, negotiations between the two teams were said to have been “fluent and without traction”. With the Celtics still hovering around the .500 level, could it be more urgent to make a deal?
Similar to the Warriors, the Nets are only worth mentioning because Kyrie Irving’s situation remains unresolved. Learn more about why Irving-Simmons swaps will and won’t work here.