The Philadelphia 76ers left Thursday night’s NBA draft with Ben Simmons still on the roster, but the team is actively shopping him. And Simmons might not be the only player on the move. There was smoke permeating about the Sixers trying to deal Tobias Harris, too.
According to SiriusXM Radio’s Mitch Lawrence, Harris was offered up to the Houston Rockets as part of an undisclosed trade package. He didn’t reveal any other names involved in the deal, but speculation centered on Eric Gordon, DJ Augustin, Kelly Olynyk.
Or was the report inaccurate? Yes, per Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice. He cited sources saying the Harris rumor dates back to last offseason:
A source familiar with the situation told PhillyVoice the reporting was not accurate and suggested the intel likely dates back to last season. That was when, according to the source, Harris’ name was brought up as part of a larger deal with the Houston Rockets, briefly discussed during the Sixers’ attempt to trade for James Harden.
Harris has never come up in any previous trade rumors, although Sixers fans have often called for it on social media. His contract appears too problematic to move with an annual average of $36 million over the next three years. Harris ($35.9 million) will make more money than Bradley Beal ($34.5 million) next season.
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ESPN Explores Possible Simmons’ Trades
ESPN threw out a few interesting trade scenarios for the Sixers, including one that swapped Simmons for Damian Lillard. Tyrese Maxey and two first-rounders went to the Portland Trail Blazers in that one.
Other teams mentioned as landing spots for Simmons included the Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves. Some of the names coming to Philly in those proposed deals were D’Angelo Russell, Buddy Hield, Zach LaVine, C.J. McCollum.
The Sixers will also be monitoring the situation in Washington with Beal very closely this offseason. Kevin Pelton wrote the following:
If I were in Morey’s position, I wouldn’t seriously consider a Simmons trade until the situations of Bradley Beal in Washington and Lillard in Portland are resolved. Morey’s M.O. is hunting for stars, and dealing one in Simmons for less talented players who fit better doesn’t follow that model.
Rayjon Tucker Gets Qualifying Offer
The Sixers issued a qualifying offer to Rayjon Tucker on Sunday in order to make him a restricted free agent. Philadelphia can now match any offer he gets in free agency which begins on Monday at 6 p.m. The 6-foot-3 combo guard saw action in 14 games last season and averaged 2.4 points per game. He earned lofty praise from his teammates, particularly Harris, for his work ethic during practices.
The Sixers may choose to bring Tucker back as a bench player considering the uncertain futures of Danny Green and Furkan Korkmaz. He could turn into a competent scorer if given more minutes. Then again, the team did just draft shooting guard Jaden Springer with the 28th overall pick in the draft.