It’s increasingly likely that 76ers star Ben Simmons will be traded before the start of next season, and the Heat, Raptors and Wizards are considered the “most likely” landing spots, a source told Sam Amick of The Athletic.
But even Washington appears to be a bit of a long shot.
“The Wizards scenario, of course, would only take place if Bradley Beal wound up deciding it was time for a new chapter outside of the nation’s capital,” Amick wrote. “The moving parts, as you can see, are sometimes part of the same puzzle.”
All indications are pointing to Beal staying with the Wizards for the time being, as relayed by Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
Meanwhile, the Heat may not exactly be a good option, either, according to Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice.
“One of the problems is finding a package that makes any sense for Philadelphia on the surface,” Neubeck wrote. “The Heat have an assortment of interesting players but none of the guys you’d assume are available feel like potential headliners in a deal.”
Others said to be in on the Simmons trade talks — the Cavaliers, Kings, Thunder, Pacers and Timberwolves. Each is believed to have put on a full-court press in those conversations.
Of all the teams mentioned, Fisher reported that the Raptors appear to be the “most active” in the Raptors trade talks.
Either way, reports suggest that the 76ers want an All-Star in return for Simmons.
“And league executives contacted by B/R continue to mention the possibility of the Sixers holding onto Simmons, should a desirable offer still fail to arise during the draft, in the hopes of Damian Lillard ultimately seeking to leave Portland,” Fischer wrote.
Meanwhile, the Raptors have some things to figure out as well. Along with owning the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, they seem likely to lose veteran point guard Kyle Lowry in free agency.
Amick isn’t the only one to suggest Simmons will soon be on the move. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote the same earlier this week, and Fischer wrote that the “overwhelming expectation around the NBA remains that Philadelphia will trade Simmons before the start of training camp.”
Simmons, 25, is coming off a subpar playoff showing, with the 76ers losing to the Hawks in the second round of the playoffs. Simmons either refused to shoot or shot poorly late in games, finishing a historically bad 34 percent on free throws.
Still, at 6-foot-10 he is an accomplished passer and defender on the wing, averaging 14.9 points and 6.9 assists this past season. He finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season — and for all the grief he takes about his jumper, he is a career 56 percent shooter.
Along with Simmons, the 76ers are looking to trade the No. 28 overall draft pick, as Neubeck was the first to report.