It was a nice change to see the negative spotlight shined away from the Philadelphia 76ers and the Ben Simmons situation Monday night. The Sixers, who were without their entire starting five from last season, beat the Kings in their own arena with a very convincing 102-94 final score. This prompted quite a bit of backlash from not just the Sacramento Kings fanbase, but also from the national media.
The Kings losing at home to Philly’s backups is an utter embarrassment. Luke Walton had to go but that won’t solve their issues. Major roster change is needed. I’m disgusted watching this team. What a hideous product. No wonder the other night that dude puked all over the court.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) November 23, 2021
The Sacramento Kings have had (another) slow start to the season, as they currently sit at 6-12. It didn’t take long for them to cut ties with Luke Walton, as they fired him less than 48 hours ago at the time of this writing.
The Kings’ dysfunction and slow start have had many people pointing them out to be the team that ultimately lands Ben Simmons. The franchise has been very vocal about ending their league-long playoff drought, but haven’t taken many steps in actually doing so. Yes, De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton are good — but it doesn’t seem like either is capable of carrying this team to even the play-in tournament.
Fox and Haliburton’s slow starts have factored into Sacramento’s slow start, but they aren’t the only reasons. The roster is just very “meh” and unbalanced. They have a ton of backcourt depth with very little frontcourt depth. Sixers legend Mo Harkless starts for them, which is crazy to say in the year 2021.
It doesn’t seem like the Kings are that interested in Simmons, at least for now. Bleacher Report’s Jack Fischer reported that the Kings are (still) unwilling to part with Fox or Haliburton in any potential Simmons deal.
And despite strong preseason chatter that a slow start in Sacramento could lead to a potential Ben Simmons trade with Philadelphia, there remains no significant current discussion between the Sixers and Kings. Fox and Tyrese Halliburton are still deemed unavailable, and second-year standout Tyrese Maxey has emerged as a legitimate starting point guard in Philadelphia.
At this juncture, I legitimately have to ask why? I’m not saying the Kings should throw all of their assets at Simmons, who is a very good but flawed player. But them not even seriously considering a Simmons trade by deeming Haliburton and Fox as unavailable is wild to me for a franchise that has publicly stated that their goal this season is to end their playoff drought.
On the flip side, I’m not even sure the Sixers would want to do a Fox or Haliburton headlined trade. Fox is a good player who has had a really rough start, but his play style nearly mirrors Tyrese Maxey — a star in the making. Haliburton is good, but he’s still a ways away from being a consistent starter in the NBA, and he wouldn’t fit the Sixers win-now timeline at all.
The best path to a trade involving the Sixers and Kings would likely involve multiple teams in which Fox/Haliburton would go to a separate party that isn’t Philly.
Shoutout to the Kings for taking the negative spotlight off the Simmons situation, though. Even if it is temporary.