The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the teams where it is relatively easy to construct a hypothetical Ben Simmons trade with the 76ers because the Cavs’ have Kevin Love‘s $31.3 million salary this season. However, constructing one that works for both teams is a lot more challenging, which is why the sides are nowhere close to a deal (sources told NBC Sports that talk in general around a Simmons trade has quieted down heading into training camp).
Chris Fedor wades into those trade waters at Cleveland.com, but while there makes an interesting point about who the Cavaliers will and will not give up.
Sources maintain the Cavs don’t have any “untouchables.” However, prized rookie Evan Mobley and rising point guard Darius Garland are closest to that designation. The likelihood of either player being moved is incredibly low.
That means the Cavaliers view Mobley and Garland as the two key as cornerstones of the future. Meanwhile, Collin Sexton — who the Cavaliers have tested the trade waters on this offseason — and Isaac Okoro could be available in the right trade.
Expect to hear a lot of Sexton rumors heading into the trade deadline. He is up for an extension of his rookie contract and averaged 24.3 points a game last season — he can get buckets and wants a max extension. While he can score and is efficient doing so (37.1% from 3 last season, above-average 57.3 true shooting percentage), he is seen as ball dominant (a ball stopper, really) and not a guy who gets everyone involved. Sexton has an NBA role, but teams aren’t sure it is as a max-contract lead guard.
The Cavaliers and 76ers are nowhere near a Simmons deal, which is how it is with all the teams staying in touch with Philly — the offers are nowhere near what the win-now Sixers want in return. Simons plans to hold out of training camp, and things are going to get ugly and uncomfortable. Ultimately, Philly GM Daryl Morey may need to lower his asking price, taking back picks/players he can flip in a later trade for the kind of player he wants, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Meanwhile, in Cleveland, it looks like Garland and Mobley may be the cornerstones of the future.