If the Kings are still unwilling to include Fox – or promising young guard Tyrese Haliburton – in trade talks, it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to strike a deal with Philadelphia.
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The potential for a deal is there, but the 76ers are said to be looking for an All-Star-caliber player in return [for Simmons]. De’Aaron Fox would likely fit that description, but sources have maintained that the Kings are highly unlikely to trade their dynamic 23-year point guard. The Sacramento Bee has confirmed that the Kings have expressed interest in Simmons, but Fox has not been discussed in any trade talks.
Sacramento would likely be willing to offer a package that included Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III and one or more future first-round picks. A league source recently said The Bee the Kings should send at least three first-round picks to the 76ers in a trade built around Hield and Bagley. Another source said the 76ers would not be interested unless Fox or Haliburton were included in the trade, but Hield’s 3-point sniping and Bagley’s unrealized potential could be appealing if a better deal. did not materialize.
In addition to the Kings, other teams interested in Simmons include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors, according to NBA reporter Marc Stein. Other suitors are likely to emerge.
On the Sixers’ side, there is no reason to rush a deal. Despite his playoff struggles, Simmons still brings a lot to the floor, especially on the defensive end. As such, the Sixers need to approach a move in a measured manner, rather than overreacting to its poor playoff performance. If you want to trade in a player of Simmons’ caliber, you need to get a player or two back that will significantly improve the team. The Sixers are well aware of this, and that’s exactly why they would only be willing to move Simmons in exchange for an already established All-Star-caliber player.
This is a wise Philadelphia approach, although it can ultimately make it difficult to strike a deal, as there is usually no too much many All-Star caliber players available in the market. The Sixers are hoping for the opportunity to land Portland Trail Blazers star goalie Damian Lillard, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, and for good reason. If you’re going to trade Simmons, Lillard is the exact type of player you would want in return – a star who provides the team with something they didn’t have before, who plans to pair perfectly with Joel Embiid, and who could immediately raise the team ceiling, especially on the offensive side. If Washington Wizards goaltender Bradley Beal were to become available, he would be another star the Sixers might feel good about returning Simmons to.
If a player of his ilk isn’t available this offseason, the Sixers would probably be wise to bring Simmons back next season and see how things go. Maybe he will improve markedly during the offseason. Otherwise, Philadelphia can still evaluate its options until the trade deadline.