The latest front-runner to land Ben Simmons in a blockbuster deal plays in the Eastern Conference, far from the sun-soaked beaches where the Philadelphia 76ers star prefers to reboot his career. Not that Simmons’ opinion should really matter much to the Sixers’ front office.
Simmons has made it clear – assuming there is fire behind all the smoke – that he wants out of Philly. The market has started to evaporate and could get drier than the Atacama Desert if this saga continues to drag on. According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Cleveland Cavaliers still have their “hat in the ring” on a trade for Simmons. More importantly, they have the assets to put together a “Harden-esque” package for the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up.
What does that mean? Well, the Sixers could net a prolific scorer like Collin Sexton (24.3 points per game) in the deal. And multiple first-round picks since Cleveland owns the rights to all their picks through 2028. That’s assuming the Cavaliers think Simmons is worthy of that hefty asking price. Remember, the Cavaliers already have a capable point guard in Darius Garland on the roster. Garland (6.1 assists per game) shares the same agent as Simmons, too. And Klutch Sports hasn’t been very warm and fuzzy with Sixers’ brass.
There’s also the possibility the Sixers ask for both Sexton and Garland in a package and forego the draft picks. Or the Cavaliers could be compelled to include Lauri Markkanen (13.6 points per game) and keep their young core intact. Stein wrote the following:
The Committee liked the Cavaliers’ recent acquisition of Lauri Markkanen, even after the Cavs drafted Evan Mobley and re-signed Jarrett Allen, because they added Markkanen on a team-friendly contract that will be easy to trade if needed. This is no small thing when league sources say that Cleveland continues to keep its hat in the ring to try to pry Ben Simmons from the Sixers.
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Simmons Posts More Instagram Photos
The daily chore of scanning Simmons’ Instagram account for possible clues on his next move are getting boring. Everything doesn’t need to be explored with a fine-tooth comb. Still, let’s take a look: Earlier this week, the Aussie posted three workout photos where he appears to be in good spirits while getting some ab exercises in. Simmons wrote: “Let’s seize the day.”
More Details Leaked on Los Angeles Meeting
Sixers brass recently met with Simmons and his representation – Rich Paul of Klutch Sports – in Los Angeles to hash out their differences. Team president Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand, managing partner Joshua Harris, head coach Doc Rivers were all in the room. That meeting didn’t end on a happy note, according to ESPN.
After the transaction season ended in mid-August, owner Joshua Harris and 76ers management flew to Los Angeles to meet with Simmons and agent Rich Paul. The Sixers intended to tell Simmons they couldn’t find a deal for him and hoped to put aside differences and enter the season on the same page, sources said.
The two sides walked away with the understanding that Simmons would be traded, per the report. And Simmons’ reiterated that he didn’t want to return to Philadelphia next season.