Ben Simmons wants out of Philadelphia. He has made that known since the end of last season. On the opposite side, the feelings are quieter, but mutual.
The Sixers tried trading Simmons early last season for James Harden. That is fair given how great of a player Harden is compared to Simmons. However, that was the beginning of the end for this relationship.
Then the second-round of the playoffs came and the camel’s back broke completely. Simmons looked petrified out there on the court; with the lasting memory in a Sixers uniform being when he passed an open dunk opportunity.
After the series, Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers both seemed to be frustrated with how things played out with Simmons. Trade rumors instantly commenced after the series. Simmons was on the block.
As fast as the Sixers were looking for trade partners, the Simmons camp wanted out of Philadelphia. The plan was set in motion, but the extremely high asking price from the Sixers front office still has Simmons on the roster; despite his desire to go elsewhere.
Now Simmons is threatening to sit out the entire season unless he is moved. The writing is on the wall. Where will Simmons go next?
Sacramento Kings (+650)
One of the teams that have been rumored for quite some time to acquire Simmons are the Sacramento Kings. The Kings want to try and see if Simmons can help propel them to the postseason for the first time since 2006. Why not swing for the fences?
The only problem is that the Kings are refusing to give up either of their best two young pieces, De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton. NBA rumors have stated that the Sixers asking price has been high throughout this process, but maybe the Kings are the ones holding back from the trade.
Simmons, despite all of the glaring flaws, has put together a great resume in his young career. It is fair for them to receive Haliburton or Fox, neither of whom have put up the numbers or accolades of Simmons. The Kings and Sixers are very close to getting a deal done, but the Kings need to be willing to let one of their young guards go.
Houston Rockets (+450)
The team that was going to get him last season might finally do it this season. The Houston Rockets are in the beginning stages of their big rebuild after the Harden era ended. They nabbed Jalen Green with the second pick of the draft and have some good young pieces to build for the future.
There is one player who does not fit that timeline. That player is John Wall. Wall has a bloated contract, but can still be a good player; even after all of the injuries.
The Sixers do not want Wall and his contract, but the clock is ticking. Simmons is holding onto his promise of not showing up, which hurts their chances of competing. Perhaps they can trade for Wall, but he won’t be the centerpiece.
The Rockets have some young talent to give back, but more importantly draft picks. They are not going to be a top team with or without Simmons, which would make those picks valuable. This can lead to the Sixers flipping those picks for a star player in the offseason or even sooner.
Minnesota Timberwolves (+400)
The one team that has been wanting Simmons the most this summer has easily been the Minnesota Timberwolves. They have a desire for teaming Simmons and Karl-Anthony Towns together. Anthony Edwards, the Rookie of the Year runner up, would round out this potential big three.
Originally, the Wolves stated that D’Angelo Russell was off the table, but that talk has died down. With everyone on the table, except for Towns and Edwards, the Sixers have a trade partner. However, the Sixers are looking for a star quality player, which the Wolves are not willing to give up.
Edwards and Russell would be their ideal package, but Edwards has been deemed as untouchable. The Sixers are not going below their asking price for any team. However, the Sixers might drop it soon.
If they do, then the Wolves are ready to strike.