‘Realistic’ Proposed Ben Simmons Trade Has Celtics Keeping Jaylen Brown

Realistic Ben Simmons-Celtics trade proposal

Getty Jaylen Brown (left) and Ben Simmons (right) have been engulfed in trade rumors.

The internet went bonkers on November 9th when Shams Charania reported that the Boston Celtics had expressed interest in potentially acquiring disgruntled All-Star Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers. While the idea of the Simmons-Sixers saga finally coming to an end was enough to garner attention on its own, Charania’s mention of Jaylen Brown “needing” to be included in a trade offer was enough to cause Celtics faithful to implode.

The good news, those rumors have been laid to rest, as Brian Robb of Mass Live has reported that including Brown in a Simmons trade is a “non-starter” for the Celtics. However, that doesn’t exactly end all hope of Simmons soon being draped in Green and white. Per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, one league source believes Simmons would, in fact, have an interest in joining the Cs. He also added that the Celtics, “like many other teams, would be interested in Simmons at a reasonable price.”

So, what exactly is a reasonable price — a realistic offer — for a 25-year-old, three-time All-Star with elite passing skills and high-end defensive traits, but limited scoring prowess and a $35.5 million average salary?

“Ultimately, the only path that makes plausible sense for both sides in a deal where Simmons goes to Boston would be a third team getting involved,” wrote Robb. “The Celtics send multiple players and first-round picks to Team X, Team X sends the Sixers player(s) that are appealing and the Celtics land Simmons.”

Celtics’ Trade Chips — or Rather, Lack Thereof

One of the major reasons why a third team would likely need to be involved is Boston’s limited trade chips, specifically when Philadelphia is pegged as the suitor. As Robb noted, Al Horford’s $27 million contract makes sense from a “salary matchup” purpose. However, his unsuccessful run and struggles playing alongside Joel Embiid in Philly back in 2019 make his inclusion in a deal unlikely. The same could be said for wing Josh Richardson, who the Sixers traded to the Dallas Mavericks two seasons ago and who remains a lite-version of his two-way form from his Miami Heat days.

As for Marcus Smart, the player Simmons would most likely be replacing in Boston’s lineup, his $77 million extension signed this past offseason makes him ineligible for a trade until January 17. Payton Pritchard, Romeo Langford and Aaron Nesmith are all quality, young, upside pieces, but could be less appealing to a Sixers team currently sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference.

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Simmons Changes Course

After initially refusing to meet with a 76ers recommended specialist regarding his mental health, Simmons has since changed course after the organization resumed fining him for missed games and practices, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

ESPN Sources: After initial reluctance, Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons has met with a team-recommended specialist to discuss mental health concerns. Among other issues, the organization had recently reinstituted fines for Simmons’ failure to agree to those meetings.

Simmons is planning to continue meeting with his NBPA – provided mental health specialist and working out regularly at the team practice facility, sources tell ESPN. Simmons has yet to play for the Sixers this season and there remains no timeline on a possible debut.

While this is a new development in the ever-evolving Simmons-Sixers saga, it remains highly unlikely that Simmons suits up for the team this season, nor ever again.


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