It seems the Kings are sticking to their guns on possible trade offers for available 76ers star guard/forward Ben Simmons.
“The Kings are unlikely to part with either player, but they can offer Buddy Hield, a prolific 3-point shooter who would space the floor for Joel Embiid; Marvin Bagley III, a former No. 2 pick who has yet to reach his potential; and other assets, including multiple first-round draft picks,” Anderson wrote.
Anderson listed the Kings among the most-interested suitors, with other reports suggesting the Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Pacers and Warriors are also in the mix.
Meanwhile, Evan Dammerall of Fear The Sword reported Simmons would be open to playing for the Cavaliers in the event a deal is reached. (Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, also represents Cavs point guard Darius Garland, and Simmons has held workouts at Garfield Heights High School near Cleveland.)
As for the Kings, the Sixers are almost certain to request either Fox or Haliburton in any deal involving Simmons.
The Cavs may have difficulty acquiring Simmons, given that they likely wouldn’t want to give up the assets it would take to get him.
Right now, the 76ers’ asking price is to said to be significant. They may have to lower now that word has gotten out that Simmons may not even report to camp.
“Think about three months ago when the Sixers are willing to give up Ben Simmons. You are like, ‘Let’s see what we have to do to get him,’” a Western Conference executive said, via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Now, the difference is Ben Simmons says he refuses to play for the Sixers. He wants to go to three California teams. There’s so much bad blood between him and the team.”
The executive added Philadelphia’s asking price will now have to come down — given that everyone knows Simmons is looking to move on.
“The kid said he’s not going back,” the executive said. “I’m not giving you what you’re demanding. They really messed this up.”
The Timberwolves, Kings and several others have already been linked to Simmons, with Minnesota “persistent” in its pursuit, per Adrian Wojarowski of ESPN.
“Minnesota is one team that’s been persistent with Philadelphia, but they’ve needed to have, really, third and even fourth teams in those kinds of deals to get back to Philly what it would want. …
“I think for the Sixers, if they’re going to trade Ben Simmons, they’ve got to get back players right now who continue on that Joel Embiid timeline of having an MVP-level player in his prime, that you’re trying to win championships with, and that’s a hard package to get back for Ben Simmons right now. There’s a very distinct possibility he’s going to have to come back to training camp with them next season.”
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.
Follow Sam Amico: @AmicoHoops