Ben Simmons would like to be traded very soon, something his camp made abundantly clear this week by ensuring it was reported that he wants out of Philly and won’t report to training camp.
The Sixers would also like to trade him, as they have been actively shopping Simmons all summer, but their asking price continues to keep discussions with other teams from advancing into a serious stage. It’s been rumored that the Sixers are asking for a James Harden-like trade package that would net them four picks as well as an All-Star caliber player, which is a price tag that, so far, no one has been willing to even really engage on.
Maybe the best evidence of just how far apart the Sixers are from every other team in Simmons trade talks is with regards to the Sacramento Kings, who have long been reported as interested in the All-Star guard. Sacramento has a number of young guards on their roster, headlined by De’Aaron Fox (fresh off signing a max extension) and last year’s first round pick, Tyrese Haliburton. On Wednesday morning, it was reported the Sixers were demanding at least one of those two be involved (along with Buddy Hield and whomever else would make the financials work).
However, the Kings are not interested in swapping out one of their young guards for Simmons, instead envisioning a world where they all coexist — something you can do with a point-forward type. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Kings have made it clear they won’t include Fox or Haliburton in a Simmons deal, which, as of this moment, means Sacramento won’t be seriously involved in Simmons talks.
According to a source with knowledge of their situation, the Kings spoke to the Sixers weeks ago and made it clear that both De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton would not be included in a possible Simmons deal. That stance, the source said, has not and will not change and the internal expectation is that the core of their roster will remain the same heading into training camp later this month. There are no current conversations between the two teams and, barring a drastic change in demands, it appears the Kings are an unlikely landing spot for Simmons.
That precludes one of the favorites to land Simmons from the conversation, which would seem to put a damper on Philly’s ability to create a bidding war for Simmons as the season approaches. That leaves the Timberwolves, who have reportedly been among the most aggressive teams in trying to land Simmons, and the Warriors as the favorites remaining, but neither of those teams seem willing to engage in talks that give up a significant haul either. The Wolves want to create a quartet of Simmons-Towns-Russell-Edwards, but if they aren’t offering those three, it’s hard to see what they have the Sixers would be enticed by.
Golden State, meanwhile, has plenty of firepower in terms of young, intriguing talent, plus the Andrew Wiggins contract to make money work, but it would seem, based on the lack of real traction on conversations, that the two sides aren’t exactly close when it comes to who should be included in a Warriors package (or if there’s enough to keep Philly in the immediate title contender conversation).
What seems to be clear is that the rest of the league refuses to come close to the Sixers’ desired return and is willing to bank on Philly eventually balking at the idea of a very awkward situation to start the season with a player who doesn’t want to be there and knows the organization also would like him gone. Once the price goes down on Simmons, though, it will be very interesting to see who tries to get involved, as it wouldn’t be a surprise if rumblings build about far more than just the few teams that have been reported as interested recently.