The Ben Simmons saga remains far from over for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Trade rumors continue to swirl around the former NBA No. 1 overall draft pick, and the strain between Simmons and the Sixers seems too significant to repair.
Source: Ben Simmons has cut off communication with basically everyone in the Sixers organization. Everything is going thru his agent, Rich Paul. Ben is open to going to the GSWs though he doesn’t have much leverage in the situation.
— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) August 5, 2021
Philadelphia moved on from this drama to secure a long-term contract extension with Embiid, who’s clearly the face of the franchise at this point.
But trading Simmons still seems like the most likely avenue to a resolution for these two sides.
The Sixers, to their credit, remain steadfast in their demands involving a Simmons deal.
The Athletic’s David Aldridge reported recently the Sixers sought four future first-round picks and an All-Star-level player in pre-draft trade talks.
But the Sixers may want to unload the three-time All-Star instead of entering training camp with this unsettled.
That’s where a couple struggling NBA franchises might get their shot at Simmons.
2. Sacramento Kings
For the Kings, flipping some of that young talent for a star like Simmons might signal the way forward.
But the Sixers have long maintained a desire to remain competitive after any trade involving Simmons.
That said, the Kings would likely require a third team to aid in developing a potential package for Philadelphia.
Sacramento’s young core includes a pair of players in Bagley and Hield who’ve expressed a desire to play elsewhere, so building the trade package around them seems like the cleanest move for the Kings.
The team could add Harrison Barnes to the mix, considering he’s a playoff tested veteran who might appeal to the Sixers win-now hopes.
Positioning Simmons along side Fox and Haliburton could certainly help Sacramento snap their 15-year playoff drought.
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 14, 2021
A trade suggestion from Bleacher Report posits a three-team deal between the Kings, Sixers, and Toronto Raptors.
In the deal, Simmons lands in Sacramento.
Hield and Goran Dragic head to Philadelphia, with multiple draft picks as well.
And the Raptors reel in Bagley and Furkan Korkmaz.
It’s an interesting suggestion that would seemingly appease each of the teams involved.
Should this take place, the Kings would be positioned for a potential playoff push.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves continue to seek ways to augment their young core.
Minnesota changed coaches midway through the season and saw notable improvements with Chris Finch at the helm.
The Timberwolves finished the season 16-25 under Finch and look to make a playoff push with a fully healthy roster.
"Minnesota's one team that has been persistent with Philadelphia [in pursuit of a Ben Simmons trade]."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) August 17, 2021
Getting Simmons, though, would change the trajectory of the franchise.
Minnesota stands among the teams reportedly linked to Simmons, but it’s hard to envision the Timberwolves assembling a trade package that meets Philadelphia’s requirements.
The Timberwolves must involve another team to acquire the veteran talent and draft assets sought by the Sixers.
Working in Minnesota’s favor is the fact that the team controls all of its future draft capital.
But if the Sixers seek “win-now” pieces, players like promising young guard Malik Beasley and the newly acquired Beverley and Prince might need to be part of the package.
Should the Timberwolves land Simmons, pairing him with Anthony Edwards, Russell, and Towns immediately makes Minnesota a team to watch.