The biggest thing to know right now with Ben Simmons: Philadelphia is nowhere near trading him.
While there are reports all over the media trying to put a new spin on the telenovela that is Simmons holdout and trade push, the reality remains that actual trade talk amongst teams for him remains flatlined, as it has for a couple of weeks, league sources confirmed to NBC Sports. There are teams that have made offers, but they are lowball ones the win-now 76ers are nowhere near taking. Both Simmons camp and the Sixers have dug in for a siege.
Still, there are reports out there. Here are a couple of note, in addition to the report the 76ers would prefer to send Simmons to a Western Conference team.
First, Simmons wants to go to a team where the offense is built around him and his style of play, reports Kevin O’Conner of The Ringer.
League sources say the primary motivation for Klutch Sports’ aggressive holdout is to steer him to a team built around him on offense. No matter the roster makeup in Philly, he will only ever be no. 2 as long as Embiid is healthy.
That raises a couple of questions: Why didn’t Simmons tell the 76ers that’s what he wanted? But the biggest question: Can you build a great team with Simmons as your No. 1 option?
The question is whether a team built around Simmons would be any good. Though Simmons is tall, fast, and powerful like Giannis [Antetokounmpo], he doesn’t score like him. Giannis is one of the most dominant interior scorers in league history. Last season, Antetokounmpo shot 63.5 percent on drives to the rim, according to Second Spectrum. Simmons shot only 53.4 percent on drives, and in lineups without a center, he shot only 46.4 percent.
A fair number of people around the league see Simmons best used in more of a Draymond Green role, being an elite defender, and on offense playing off a floor spacer and pick-and-roll guard, allowing Simmons to drive the lane more and be a passer who can pick apart defenses. Is that what Simmons wants?
The Spurs at least reached out and talked to the 76ers about a Simmons trade, but that didn’t get very far, reports Zach Lowe at ESPN.
The Spurs talked with the Philadelphia 76ers about Ben Simmons, but those talks have not gotten far, sources said.
The Spurs are rebuilding and looking for their next star player, and while they have a lineup of good players they drafted — Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker IV, Derrick White — there is no talent of Simmons caliber among them. San Antonio was right to look around, but with what Daryl Morey was asking for in a trade, the Spurs were right to stay away.
The 76ers are in training camp, Simmons is not, and the drama continues to drag on. And on. And on.