The Philadelphia 76ers have managed to tread water so far this season despite a number of absences at different times due to injuries and COVID protocols, currently sitting at 15-12, tied for sixth in the East. Joel Embiid has been as dominant as ever, and Seth Curry is enjoying the best season of his career, breaking out as more than just a shooter.
However, there is a ceiling on this team as of now because they are operating without an All-Star in Ben Simmons, who continues to sit out as he awaits a trade. After insisting he would let this drag out for years, Sixers president Daryl Morey seems to be recognizing that’s not good business when you have one of the best players in the NBA in the midst of his prime, and reports have emerged this last week that Philly is being more proactive in seeking out a Simmons trade, including trying to work the phones to create a multi-team deal that could create a more enticing package for all parties.
On Monday, Shams Charania offered a report with some new teams attached to Simmons trade talks, including the Knicks and Lakers alongside a few teams that have been connected to Simmons for months.
The New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers are among the teams interested in Simmons, sources said, although it’s unclear how much traction Philadelphia truly has on any move.
It’s hard to see how a team like the Lakers could truly get in the mix for Simmons, given they don’t exactly have much in the way of assets or star level talent that’d be of interest to the Sixers — unless Philly has a very different opinion of Russell Westbrook’s fit there than I am assuming. The Knicks, likewise, don’t have a ton of star-level talent on the roster, but do have more draft capital to throw around than L.A. and that might be able to get them in a three-teamer with someone like Indiana.
Whatever the case, it seems that after a couple months of posturing, the Sixers are at least being more active in trying to get talks going and seeing if they can get someone to offer a trade package that at least comes close to their hefty asking price. They have two months before the deadline to find that deal, and while the expectation should probably be for this to drag out to early February, it’s smart to engage teams now and try to create a stronger market for Simmons, particularly at a time where there are more teams that still believe they could be a contender with how muddied the playoff races are in both conferences.