The Cavaliers, Pistons, Rockets and Raptors are among nine known teams engaged with the 76ers in trade conversations centered on star guard/forward Ben Simmons, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
Five others are also in pursuit, per Fischer: The Spurs, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers and Pacers, as well as one “mystery” team.
Simmons, 25, has reported to training camp is expected to start practicing should he clear COVID-19 protocols. He has not received a vaccination, per reports.
While the Cavs and Timberwolves have made “pick-heavy overtures,” no team has yet come close to the 76ers’ asking price in a possible Simmons deal, Fischer reported.
On Tuesday, Marc Stein of Substack cited the Cavs, Pacers, Spurs and Raptors “most determined suitors for Simmons” since the end of last season.
Stein added that, because of the language in Simmons’ contract, agent Rich Paul will have little control over where he ends up.
“Simmons’ biggest obstacle in his yearning for a fresh start elsewhere, on so many levels, is what will surely rank as the most lucrative contract of his career,” Stein wrote. “With four years and nearly $150 million left on the deal, and without a no-trade clause, Simmons faces a massive leverage deficit in seemingly every aspect of this saga.”
As far as the 76ers are concerned, coach Doc Rivers doesn’t anticipate any concerns with Simmons being back with his teammates.
“Other than those first 10 minutes of welcoming back and taking the crap from your teammates about missing camp and stuff, guys want to win,” Rivers said, via Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m telling you, especially if you’re on that type of team where you have a chance to win. They want to win, and they look at Ben as a guy that can help them do that.”
Sources have told Hoops Wire the 76ers aren’t as interested in draft picks as they are younger players who could help them win now, such as Cavs guard and leading scorer Collin Sexton or Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon.
Most sources believe it will take a multi-team trade to move Simmons, as opposed to a straight-up deal between two teams.
“Offers for Simmons have thus far included draft picks or young players, not anything a contender like Philadelphia would want,” reported Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. “And since nearly half the league is ineligible to be dealt until December 15, teams that might be willing to offer a veteran can’t do that yet.”
O’Connor added that “reasonable” offers for Simmons have already been made, but “acceptable” offers may not come until as late as January.