Ben Simmons update?
Not really, but a good nugget from Sam Amick at The Athletic.
He penned a story today titled “The Ben Simmons saga, one month into the season: Where things stand and what’s next.” The gist is that a trade does not appear to be close, though this part is particularly interesting:
“…in case you wondered, the Sixers have an actual list of such names internally.
As you may have heard by now, Portland’s Damian Lillard is not only on said list but somewhere near the top. Ditto for Brooklyn’s James Harden, the former Rocket with whom Morey tried unsuccessfully to reunite with in January and who, by the way, could come to Philly via sign-and-trade this summer if he decides to shock the basketball world and leave Kevin Durant behind. Also high on the list: Washington’s Bradley Beal. Those kinds of guys.
But here’s the part that may come as a surprise: A source with knowledge of the list said there are approximately 30 players who would satisfy the Sixers in a Simmons swap, and there’s an internal belief that a fair amount of them — let’s say five to 10 — could become available in the next year or two. And while it might sound like a long list, consider this much: It’s approximately six percent of the league and the rough equivalent to the number of All-Stars selected every season. The framing of the timeline, more than anything else, speaks volumes about the long-term approach the Sixers insist they’re taking.”
The “long term” thing smells like bullshit to me. I would be very surprised if the Sixers don’t move Simmons at the deadline, thereby wasting a year of Joel Embiid’s prime. To push this thing any further down the road would feel like organizational malpractice. Things will open up as we get closer to the deadline, so it was always fine to wait until that point, but any longer seems dumb.
RE: the names on the list, of course we identified Lillard and Beal near the top. I think there’s also a portion of guys that would obviously go on a list but would not realistically be on the block, ever. Think Steph Curry and Ja Morant and whatnot.
But a few other names that might be under consideration:
- De’Aaron Fox
- Jaylen Brown
- Collin Sexton/Darius Garland
- Zach LaVine
- FVV/OG Anunoby
- Dejounte Murray
- Kyrie Irving
- Andrew Wiggins
That’s just a start, and assuming you want a PG or back court player in return for giving up Simmons. If, however, you decide you like Tyrese Maxey as your ball handler, you could swing Ben for a power forward or small forward instead, bump Tobias Harris to the three if necessary, and then slot the new guy into the starting lineup for Danny Green, who goes to the bench. There’s some flexibility of thought there. This summer that idea may have been insane, but maybe not so much in November.