Last season, the Philadelphia 76ers found themselves in one of the biggest stories in basketball. Following a lackluster showing in the 2021 playoffs, Ben Simmons requested a trade and distanced himself until his demands were met. It would take months for this saga to end before Daryl Morey pulled off a mega-deal at the trade deadline to acquire James Harden in exchange for the former No. 1 pick.
Following the trade, many anxiously waited for Simmons to take the floor for the first time since being dealt. Unfortunately, a back injury delayed the three-time All-Star from suiting up for Brooklyn. It would not be until the playoffs that chatter started of him possibly appearing in a game.
In the end, Simmons never took the court despite rumors of him potentially playing in Game 4 against the Celtics as the Nets were on the brink of elimination. FS1’s NBA analyst Ric Bucher recently gave more insight into the situation. He reported that Simmons left the team hanging when they asked if he was going to suit up.
“Ben Simmons, there having a team chat before Game 4, thinking he’s going to play against the Boston Celtics,” said Bucher. “From what I’m told, Ben just left the chat. They asked him, are you gonna play, Ben left the chat. Like he didn’t answer the question, just left the chat.”
Not long after this clip went viral, Simmons took to Twitter to give his response. Clearly in regards to this report, he posted “slow news day.”
Pair of Sixers Rivals Among Frontrunners For Kevin Durant
Outside of Ben Simmons, the Brooklyn Nets have been a hot topic of conversation this offseason. Despite having four years remaining on his contract, two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant has requested a trade.
Shams Charania of The Athletic recently reported that Durant met with Nets’ owner Joe Tsai recently and reiterated his demand for a change of scenery. Potential frontrunners to acquire him were also mentioned and included a pair of Sixers playoff rivals.
The Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat remain the most significant candidates to acquire Durant, sources said, with Boston’s package centering around All-Star forward Jaylen Brown seen as a viable deal. Tsai and the Nets have made clear privately that they will take every last asset from a team that trades for Durant, sources said.
Durant played in 55 games for Brooklyn last season and posted averages of 29.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 6.4 APG.
Latest Kevin Durant Betting Odds
Some of the latest betting odds back up Shams Charania’s reported. Currently, the Boston Celtics are the favorites to be Kevin Durant’s next team by a wide margin. Their odds sit at -175, while the next closest is the Phoenix Suns at +350. Other notable names include the Golden State Warriors (+400), Toronto Raptors (+900), and Memphis Grizzlies (+1200).
Fresh off appearing in the NBA Finals, the Celtics will be looking to contend again in 2023. Acquiring Durant will certainly make them an instant title favorite but will come at a steep price. In his reporting of the initial trade offer, Shams Charania cited that the Nets want Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and another rotation player.