The Philadelphia 76ers have thrown the door open for Ben Simmons trades. Now they are trying to wade through the lowball or just not good enough offers pouring in, hoping to find one diamond in the mix.
Who has reached out to Philadephia? Probably 29 teams. However, in his new newsletter, veteran and well-connected NBA writer Marc Stein listed five.
Just scan through the teams that have been linked to a Simmons trade already: Cleveland, Indiana, Minnesota and Sacramento are known suitors. Toronto is also said to have expressed interest. More will emerge.
There have been reports Cleveland wanted to make a Kevin Love– and Collin Sexton-based trade, and that rightfully died the second it was uttered. Indiana has a package based around the No. 13 pick and Malcolm Brogdon, but that also was quickly shot down. Sacramento could pitch Buddy Hield with Tyrese Halliburton plus picks (the Kings might want to move Marvin Bagley III in there, too), but again that falls far short of the win-now, All-Star level player in return Daryl Morey and the 76ers want.
Toronto is interesting; a sign-and-trade bringing Philly native Kyle Lowry back home has some potential — it’s a pure talent downgrade for the 76ers, but a massive fit upgrade. If the 76ers believe Lowry can stay healthy at age 35, there is potential as a playmaker and shooter that fits on the outside with Joel Embiid inside. Of course, there would be other players involved, and it’s fair to ask if Toronto really wants to pair Simmons and Pascal Siakam, but there is at least the potential for a deal here.
Minnesota has been a team mentioned in the Simmons trade since Day 1, but is D'Angelo Russell available, and even if he is would that be good enough for the 76ers (probably not, unless they lower their demands). The Wolves are not going to throw Anthony Edwards in a deal.
This is not going to be a fast process. The buzz around the league is not to expect a deal at the draft; think August free agency or maybe even into the start of next season. Morey will be patient. He can afford to be, he needs to get this right if they are moving on from an All-Star.