Ben Simmons Rumor of the Day: A Tobias Harris Package Deal?

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As we continue on with the Ben Simmons saga, an auxiliary storyline persists.

Is Tobias Harris long for Philadelphia?

We talked Monday about the John Collins rumour, and how moving Ben for a non-guard would affect Harris. In the case of a Collins trade, going for a power forward would bump Tobias down to the three, or you’d do a corresponding move to restructure the Sixers around centerpiece Joel Embiid. Collins + Harris feels like a redundant forward combination.

On the most recent episode of the Hoop Collective podcast, Marc Spears and Brian “Windy” Windhorst touched on this topic and brought up the idea of moving both Simmons AND Harris in the same trade, which Spears said he’s hearing RE: the Atlanta rumor.

Here’s an excerpt:

Spears: …it’s already complicated enough to trade Ben Simmons, but I can only imagine (Hawks GM Travis Schlenk) getting that call from Daryl Morey like, ‘wait wait wait, can we just talk to you about Ben? Why are you trying to attach Tobias to this?’ 

Windhorst: That is the word out there, that because they can’t necessarily get an All-Star that they want in return right now, that as the Sixers have continued their talks, they have talked to teams about trading Tobias and Ben. That’s $72 million, which means you’d need $56 million or so to trade out to make it happen…. you’d have to trade a minimum of $56 million to trade for those two guys. You may say to yourself, and this is what I said to myself – Tobias is not having a terrific season, and I do think that’s partially because he doesn’t have Ben, you know? They have made due with guys who are not really point guards. I know that Tyrese Maxey has had a good year and people are excited about him, but he’s not a true point guard. He (Harris) is putting up good numbers, but his shooting is down, and he just hasn’t had the same impact. So I ask the question Spears; why would they want to do that? Why would, Tobias Harris is a good player, he’s on a contract that’s too high probably, but he’s a good player, why would they want to do that? 

Spears: The gist I’m getting is Atlanta was interested until they brought Tobias’ name up. 

Windhorst: It’s so hard to make that trade. 

I think the takeaway here is that there appears to be Tobias Harris trade smoke. No outright fire yet, but a suggestion that the Sixers are open to moving him. We’d been conditioned to think that a Simmons trade would bring back a perimeter guy like a Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal, but you can work something different with that corresponding Harris move. Packaging the two together seems absolutely crazy from a money perspective, but crazy things happen in the NBA.

Here’s the full podcast. They also talked about the Simmons/James Harden sign-and-trade idea: