Looks like we’re getting close to a Ben Simmons trade.
After months of little activity, Athletic’s Shams Charania reported this Monday that the 76ers are “intensifying its efforts to generate multi-team business scenarios“to move the three-time All-Star. The timing of the news is not much of a surprise, as trade talks around Simmons were expected to resume around Dec. 15 when most of the players who signed contracts in the low season become eligible to be traded.
Charania added that it is “unclear” how much traction the 76ers have had with the teams on any move, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported over the weekend that the Simmons trade talks were. “gaining momentum. “
◻️ Knicks, Lakers among the group of teams interested in Ben Simmons
◻️ Hawks management is ready to receive a contract extension; GM assistant Landry Fields will likely be promoted to GM
◻️ Teams chasing Pistons star Jerami Grant@ShamsCharaniaInside pass ⤵️ https://t.co/6Yy3ClWhnV
– Atlético (@TheAthletic) December 13, 2023
We’ve seen before which teams could make a move for Simmons before, but there are a few more teams that have entered the conversation since then.
NBA League Pass: Sign up to unlock games outside the live market (7-day free trial)
Updated Ben Simmons Trade Destinations
The new teams
According to Charania, the Lakers and Knicks are among the teams interested in Simmons.
As fascinating as it is to see Simmons and LeBron James on the same team, the Lakers face an uphill battle to make any trade for a player of Simmons’s caliber. It is well known that the 76ers seek a “top 25 player“For Simmons. Assuming James and Anthony Davis are off the table for reasons that should be obvious, the only player on their list remotely close to being in the top 25 conversation is Russell Westbrook.
At this stage in his career, does Westbrook move the needle enough for the 76ers? Probably not, but 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey would know better than most, since he switched to Westbrook when he was making the decisions in Houston.
Talen Horton-Tucker might attract league interest, but he’s not enough to spearhead a deal for Simmons. (Also, Horton-Tucker is not eligible to be traded until January 15.)
The Knicks, who have struggled so far this season and may be looking to turn things around, have a bit more flexibility than the Lakers: New York has a more varied collection of salaries, plus some interesting young prospects in their ranks. list, but they are limited because Derrick Rose will not be eligible for the exchange until January 15 and Julius Randle will not be eligible for the exchange until February 3.
Rose’s contract ($ 13.4 million) would help match salaries in a trade for Simmons, and he has proven to be an impact player from the bench. Randle’s numbers have taken a hit this season, but he won both an All-Star and All-NBA picks last season.
The teams we know
Charania also mentioned the Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Kings, Pacers and Cavaliers among teams interested in Simmons.
You can read more about what it would take for the Timberwolves, Trail Blazers and Kings to land Simmons and how he would fit into each team here.
MORE: Would Simmons and Damian Lillard Make a Perfect Match?
NBA insider Marc Stein named the Pacers as one of Simmons’s “known suitors” early in the process, and they have been in the news since The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Bob Kravitz reported that they are “receptive in business dialogue with rival teams focused on potentially moving “Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis or Myles Turner.
With Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond on the roster, the 76ers don’t need Turner much, but maybe they’d be interested in LeVert or Sabonis in some way.
MORE: Top 30 Stars The 76ers Might Be Interested In
The Cavaliers were another “known suitor” for Simmons. Cleveland has been much more competitive than expected this season, led by its young core of Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. On September 23, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported that the Cavaliers do not have any “untouchables” on their roster, although Mobley and Garland were “closer to that designation.” Is it still the case?
Worth noting: Collin Sexton, who averaged 24.3 points per game last season, the best of his career, will be out for the remainder of the regular season with a torn meniscus. He will be a restricted free agent in the offseason.
The Warriors deserve mention, just because they have the assets to make a big move.
Three other teams to watch out for: San Antonio, Boston and Brooklyn.
MORE: Why Golden State Should and Shouldn’t Pursue the Simmons Trade
NBA insider Marc Stein reported that Simmons “would appreciate the opportunity to play for [Gregg] Popovich. “The Spurs don’t have a player in the top 25, but they do have Dejounte Murray, who is taking another leap this season, as well as several players in the rotation like Keldon Johnson, Derrick White and Devin Vassell.
As for the Celtics, Athletic’s Shams Charania reported a month ago that they had “engaged in conversations with the 76ers” regarding Simmons. At the time, conversations between the two teams were said to have been “smooth and tractionless thus far.” With the Celtics still hovering around .500, could there be more urgency to make a deal?
Like the Warriors, the Nets deserve mention only because the Kyrie Irving situation has yet to be resolved. More on why an Irving-Simmons swap would and wouldn’t work here.