NBA Rumors: Teams Interested in Ben Simmons, De’Aaron Fox’s Availability, and Danny Green’s Free Desk

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With the NBA draft and the free agency approaching, the trading buzz is starting to heat up. For the Philadelphia 76ers, this means a lot of Ben Simmons talking.

Tuesday we heard that the Sixers have started trade talks over Simmons and initially entered into talks with teams across the league, seeking an β€œAll-Star-caliber player” in return. As a follow-up to this development, we’ve received a few more reports in the past day, adding some additional detail to what the Sixers and potential trading partners could discuss this summer.

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Here’s an overview of what you need to know as we investigate how this situation is starting to develop.

Who is interested in Ben Simmons?

Marc Stein has reported that “numerous teams” want Simmons, specifically mentioning the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings as suitors. Stein added that the Toronto Raptors also “have shown interest”.

The Cavs and Pacers have been mentioned before, so it’s not surprising they show up here, especially with reports indicating Cleveland may be willing to move on from Collin Sexton before his release in 2022. The Timberwolves want to be active in the trading market this summer and are very interested in Simmons (which I wrote about in more details here). However, with D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards probably off the table (plus Karl-Anthony Towns, obviously), they don’t really have anything to interest the Sixers unless they manage to get a third team involved. The Kings could use a talent injection as they try to move up in the Western Conference (they finished 12th this season) and desperately need help defensively after finishing last in last place this year. Simmons’ elite impact and versatility would be huge for them in that regard.

The Raptors don’t make much sense as they already have quality attackers like OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. Additionally, trading Simmons for someone like Fred VanVleet wouldn’t give the Sixers the kind of lead play or perimeter creation they ideally need, given VanVleet’s limitations as a driver. Hosting a Ben-Simmons-for-Kyle-Lowry sign-and-trade wouldn’t be precise enough for the Sixers either. As much as Lowry would help with his shooting and good play, teams wouldn’t just give up anyone of Simmons’ worth for a free agent, especially someone 35 years old who would limit Philly’s window to compete. Nevertheless, Masai Ujiri is the kind of creative director who makes off-the-radar deals and puts players in a situation where they can grow in the Raptors’ excellent development system. Understandably, Ujiri makes a few phone calls.

Of course, we all know how problematic Ben Simmons’ lack of offensive growth and engagement in the second round of the playoffs has been. Even then, he’s only 24 years old, has four more years under contract, has three All-Star appearances, an All-NBA nod, and two All-Defensive First Team rosters. Numerous teams will call to at least see what the asking price is.

As Stein said in his piece, more teams will emerge. Daryl Morey also won’t rush to make or settle a trade before getting the exact return he wants.

Sacramento Kings - Dallas Mavericks

Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

De’Aaron Fox is probably off the table

The Kings have been mentioned quite often by Sixers fans when discussing Ben Simmons transactions. Buddy Hield is a popular suggested target, but as much as his high-level three-point shooting would help, he wouldn’t provide the level of dribble or pass creation that the Sixers need. Hield just isn’t a leading guard or potential #2 next to Joel Embiid, and that’s the kind of player the Sixers need to headline their return when they trade Simmons.

This is where De’Aaron Fox is a much more interesting player, given his buzzing speed, cutting ability, ability to reach the free throw line (7.2 tries per game this season) and playing ability. The main downside to Fox for the Sixers is that he’s not a very advanced three-point shooter or pull-up threat, despite the improvements he’s made in this area. Compared to guys like Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard and Zach LaVine, Fox’s shooting just isn’t that threatening to bend the defense from deep in the same way.

In addition, Fox does not appear to be available.

Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee has reported that it is “highly unlikely” that Fox will be traded:

The potential for a deal is there, but the 76ers are reportedly looking for an All-Star caliber player in return. De’Aaron Fox would likely fit that description, but sources have claimed the Kings are highly unlikely to trade in their dynamic 23-year-old point guard. The Sacramento Bee has confirmed that the Kings have expressed interest in Simmons, but Fox has not been discussed in trade talks.

Anderson added in his report that the Sixers would like to have at least three first-round picks if the Kings offered a package targeting Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III:

Sacramento would likely be willing to offer a package that includes Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III, and one or more future first-round draft picks. A source in the competition recently told The Bee the Kings that at least three first-round picks to the 76ers in a trade built around Hield and Bagley. Another source said the 76ers wouldn’t be interested unless Fox or… [Tyrese] Haliburton was included in the trade, but Hield’s elite 3-point shooting and Bagley’s unrealized potential could be attractive if a better deal doesn’t come.

Of course, more choices in the first round would be valuable and could be used in other moves. But unless the Sixers orchestrate another deal to acquire a better maker or bring in a third team, a trade with the Kings that Fox isn’t involved in anyway (which isn’t an ideal target anyway given his limitations as a gunner). ) it’s almost enough.

Another well-known name has also surfaced in connection with the Sixers.

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Lakers

Photo by Jim Gates/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyle Lowry’s Potential Interest in Philadelphia Ph

As Jake Fischer from Bleacher Report reported, Kyle Lowry, hitting free agency this summer, may be interested in going to Philly:

Even Philadelphia β€” possessing more first-round capital than the aforementioned contenders β€” would currently need to complete a sign-and-trade for Lowry or some other high-impact veteran playmaker to join the 76ers. It is said that Lowry would welcome the chance to play for the team from his hometown, and the veteran general on the floor has long been a favorite of Daryl Morey, Sixers president of basketball operations.

Besides a Lowry sign-and-trade not being attractive for the reasons I mentioned above if Simmons is involved, it would also be seriously hard to organize if the Sixers kept Simmons because of their tight salary cap situation (as Bryan Toporek wisely noticed today). If a sign-and-trade brought Lowry to Philly, it would make more sense to involve multiple teams. This would allow Simmons to join a team that makes more sense to him than Toronto, while potentially allowing Philly to get something else in return.

Ultimately, there are better targets than Lowry for the Sixers right now as they leave Simmons and look for a new guard to lead the attack with Joel Embiid.

Danny Green’s free desk

Finally, a smaller piece of information worth highlighting. In the same off-season piece, Jake Fischer mentioned that Danny Green could also be a sign-and-trade candidate this summer:

Danny Green’s unrestricted free agency has been cited by league staff as another potential sign-and-trade opportunity for Philadelphia should the veteran want to play elsewhere. Green was a valued member of Doc Rivers’ rotation, but the swingman is expected to attract significant interest from several playoff teams, and his next franchise could potentially send another rotation piece back to Philadelphia β€” just like when Miami did Josh Richardson traded for Jimmy Butler back in 2019.

Green has been an important part of the Sixers this season. His size and intelligence on defense combined with his quick trigger, 40.5 percent three-point shooting and off-ball movement made him ideal on the floor, while his character and leadership were appreciated by his teammates and coaches throughout the year. Aside from these positives, from a purely financial standpoint, re-signing Green and having him as another mid-sized contract (something the Sixers lack) could be useful for other trades in the future.

It’s not easy to gain wings that can help in so many areas like Danny Green, even as he nears the end of his career at 34 years old. It would be a nightmare to find and pay for a better option in free agency. The Sixers must do what they can to keep Green, but if he decides he wants to move on, at least it’s reassuring to the team that they might be able to get something in return for him.

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