Insider Again Links Sixers Star to Kings in Trade Chatter

Ben Simmons Sixers

Getty Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons reacts during a game against the New York Knicks.

The Philadelphia 76ers are clearly content to take their time in deciding Ben Simmons’ future with the franchise. However, that hasn’t stopped other teams from exploring the possibility of acquiring the floor general.

One team mentioned early and often in the Simmons trade chatter was the Sacramento Kings. On Monday, the Kings’ status as would-be suitors was reaffirmed by a team insider.

Per a report from The Sacramento Bee’s Jason Anderson, Kings general manager Monte McNair is intent on making a play for a legitimate headliner. And Simmons is said to be one of the names circled in his ledger. Moreover, McNair is reportedly under the gun to make something happen sooner rather than later.

Wrote Anderson:

“Multiple sources tell The Sacramento Bee the Kings have shown interest in both Ben Simmons and Pascal Siakam, the two most prominent names linked to Sacramento since the trade and free agency frenzy began. Some remain skeptical the Kings can pull off that kind of deal, but McNair wants to make a major move as pressure to win begins to build within the organization 11 months after he was hired, sources said.”


The Sixers Want a Big-Time Package


Ben Simmons to Sacramento Might Actually Happen | Locked On KingsNBC Sports insider James Ham discusses potential swing for the fences moves with Matt George. Ham shares why he believes the Kings are in a great position to make a blockbuster trade & how Sacramento can offer the best package for Ben Simmons. Plus conversation about the Kings trading for Kristaps Porzingis, Pascal Siakam and…2021-08-09T06:55:16Z

By all accounts, the Sixers have an incredibly high asking price for Simmons, and rightfully so. He is, after all, a three-time All-Star, as well as the runner-up for the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year trophy. Simmons is also just 25 and locked into a long-term contract, making him a legitimate cornerstone piece for a franchise.

So if McNair and the Kings want him, they’re going to have to pony up.

In the early going, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and Marvin Bagley were frequently namechecked as possible outgoing pieces in a Simmons-to-Sacramento deal. However, PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubeck indicated that the Sixers “would not even entertain a discussion” with Sacramento unless star point-man De’Aaron Fox was included as a starting point.

Fox, who was the fifth overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft, averaged 25.2 points, 7.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game last season. The 23-year-old signed a max extension worth $163 million over the next five years in November.

On paper, Fox would be a nice fit next to Joel Embiid in Philly. At the least, he probably wouldn’t show the same offensive hesitancy that Simmons displayed during the playoffs. Whether or not Simmons would actually be a better fit to lead the Kings may be another matter, though.

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Business About to Pick up?

Whether it’s Simmons or Siakam the Kings are prioritizing, this could be the week that they attempt to make their big move.

Added Anderson:

“Talks could pick up this week, with all 30 teams convening in Las Vegas, where the Kings will play the Charlotte Hornets in their summer league opener at 3 p.m. Monday at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. Outside the organization, there is a perception that Sacramento’s new front office is already ‘feeling the heat’ from Kings owner Vivek Ranadive.”

Regardless of their efforts, though, Sixers president Daryl Morey isn’t going to pounce on a deal unless he’s sold on it. It has also been reported that he has his sights set on Damian Lillard. So, the Kings probably have their work cut out for them.

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