The Kings don’t want to trade De'Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton for Ben Simmons. The Timberwolves don’t want to trade Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards or D'Angelo Russell for Simmons. The Warriors don’t want to trade James Wiseman or Jonathan Kuminga for Simmons. The Trail Blazers don’t want to trade Damian Lillard for Simmons as long as Lillard accepts being in Portland.
Who does that leave to deal for the disgruntled 76ers star?
league sources say that Cleveland continues to keep its hat in the ring to try to pry Ben Simmons from the Sixers.
Cavs point guard Darius Garland would provide key elements Philadelphia lacks with Simmons, primarily 3-point shooting and overall scoring. But going from Simmons to Garland might be an overcorrection for the 76ers, who’d downgrade significantly defensively and have a less-dangerous facilitator. Though Garland (21) is younger than Simmons (25), the 76ers are prioritizing the present with Joel Embiid.
And there’s no guarantee the Cleveland is offering Garland, anyway.
Collin Sexton and Kevin Love are on the trade block – and overvalued by the Cavaliers.
Sexton is a talented hard-worker with a rapidly improved 3-point shot. But he has tunnel vision, and his defensive effectiveness lags way behind where his energy and athleticism suggests it should be.
Though Love’s high salary could be useful in matching Simmons’ salary, Love has very-negative overall value on his contract. That has been obvious for years to nearly everyone outside Cleveland.
The Cavs have other chips – Isaac Okoro and future picks. Once they can be traded, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, Lauri Markkanen and Ricky Rubio, too.
Of course, Mobley and especially Allen would be tricky fits with Embiid in Philadelphia. But Mobley, Allen and Simmons wouldn’t provide enough spacing through shooting to fit neatly with the Cavaliers, either.
Cleveland trading for Simmons is certainly possible. But there are plenty of hurdles.