All-Star guard/forward Ben Simmons of the 76ers is being discussed in trade talks, and not surprisingly, multiple teams have begun their pursuit.
Per Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Cavaliers, Pacers, Timberwolves and Kings are among the “known suitors,” and the Raptors have an interest. As Stein also wrote, many more are expected to join in on the conversations.
Simmons is coming off a subpar playoff showing, with the 76ers entered the playoffs as the East’s top seed, then losing to the Hawks in the second round. Simmons either refused to shoot or shot poorly, finishing a historically bad 34 percent on free throws.
Still, he turns just 25 years old next week, and at 6-foot-10 is an accomplished passer, averaging 14.9 points and 6.9 assists and finishing second in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season. For all the grief he takes about his jumper, he is a career 56 percent shooter.
“I hear from executives all the time that are loving this, ‘Ben Simmons trade value has cratered’ conversation because they hope that Philadelphia believes that,” Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix said on The Ringer podcast. “I think his trade value is actually higher than what’s being publicly portrayed. But you’re going to continue to hear a lot of the negativity around Ben Simmons.
“In other words, I think people value him pretty high across the league because I do think there’s a belief that someone’s going to figure the shooting thing out.”
While the other teams listed have had talks with the 76ers, the Timberwolves want Simmons “badly,” per Darren Wolfson of SKOR North.
Also, Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com recently quoted an NBA source as saying that Simmons would be a “game-changer” for the Cavs. Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, is a Cleveland native and also represents Cavs guard Darius Garland. Simmons has worked out in and around Cleveland during the offseason.
Meanwhile, the Kings supposedly have made everyone on the roster available, with the exception of standout point guard De’Aaron Fox.
Paul has been meeting with 76ers head of basketball operations Daryl Morey to discuss Simmons’ future with the franchise, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.