Let’s preface the latest Ben Simmons’ rumor by reminding everyone that newspaper columnists get paid to share opinions. Not facts. Still, Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News proposed a really interesting trade idea between the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers in his most recent column.
Cowlishaw, an ESPN contributor, would like to see Mavericks owner Mark Cuban call the Sixers about swapping Kristaps Porzingis for Simmons. He starts off by saying that he’s “at least 99% sure” this trade won’t happen. Fair enough. But he goes on to rattle off a list of convincing reasons why the deal would make sense.
Dallas has struggled mightily on the defensive end over the years while Philadelphia could form a dominant big-man duo if they paired All-Star Joel Embiid with the 7-foot-3 Porzingis. Both players are lights-out shooters from the three-point line, plus they can control the paint with their size. Interesting. Cowlishaw wrote the following:
Simmons would give [Mavericks head coach Jason] Kidd something wildly different. He would have to sort through the offensive problems Simmons’ lack of shooting creates although the Sixers haven’t exactly been a losing team in recent years. They just haven’t figured out how to get it done in the playoffs, and now all the blame is on Simmons.
As for the Sixers, Coach Doc Rivers saw Porzingis at his best in the playoffs in the bubble. I don’t doubt that he would at least be intrigued by what Joel Embiid and Porzingis might do together, and it does not appear that any trade offers from Minnesota, Toronto or elsewhere for Simmons have been overwhelming.
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‘Dark Horse’ Team Emerges for Simmons
While Simmons would prefer to go to a big market like Los Angeles – his adopted hometown – it seems likely the Sixers jettison him to a smaller market. For example, Minnesota and Cleveland keep coming up in trade rumors. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst indicated as much during a recent appearance on The Scoop where he mentioned the emergence of a “dark horse” team in the Simmons’ sweepstakes. The plugged-in reporter was careful to tip toe around the subject.
“I don’t mean to be evasive, I’ve just got to be careful with what I say,” Windhorst said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I know of at least one other team who is a small-market team, that has made an offer for him and has a lot of interest in him. It just hasn’t gotten public yet.”
Houston Rockets Plan to Deal John Wall
John Wall is a name to keep an eye on. The Houston Rockets are working on finding a new home for the five-time All-Star guard, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The two sides had an “eye-to-eye meeting” on the future of the franchise and appear amenable to moving him. And Philadelphia was immediately listed as a possible destination for Wall.
The Rockets are prepared to let Wall sit out training camp as they work the phones, per Charania, and remain committed to protecting the 31-year-old’s health. That’s a refreshing philosophy, huh? Wall is entering his second season in Houston after being traded last season for Russell Westbrook. One problem in dealing Wall could be his salary. Wall is due more than $91.7 million over two seasons.