As we inch closer to the Feb. 10 trade deadline, there is one obvious question looming over the Sixers: Will they trade Ben Simmons?
The three-time All-Star has yet to play a game this season and has made it clear he no longer wants to be a Sixer. Teams like the Sacramento Kings (maybe not?), Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks are among several reported Simmons suitors.
Below we’ll break down the Sixers’ possible trade targets as well as look at other assets the Sixers could use to improve the roster beyond Simmons.
James Harden (this offseason?)
There’s been plenty of smoke around the idea that the Sixers could hold Simmons to pursue the former MVP this offseason in a sign-and-trade. Harden and the Nets have recently tried to downplay any reports of the guard’s unhappiness, but often where there’s smoke ...
Damian Lillard (this offseason?)
Lillard recently underwent abdominal surgery and there’s been no indication he’ll be moved ahead of the deadline. But he is certainly a player to monitor, especially if Simmons is a Sixer beyond the deadline. Portland is a mess and young guard Anfernee Simons needs to be paid.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report recently reported that the Sixers are one of several teams monitoring Beal’s situation. This as the Wizards have come back down the earth in a big way and the three-time All-Star is having a tough season. Beal has been sort of cagey in his comments about staying in D.C. long term. He’s talked about wanting to be “selfish,” but also spoken about finishing his career with the Wizards. He’s a name worth keeping an eye on as he enters free agency this summer.
It’s hard to envision a scenario where Brown ends up with the Sixers by the deadline. In the offseason? It’s possible, but the Celtics will likely — and should — give the duo of Brown and Jayson Tatum every chance to succeed.
A source tells Liberty Ballers that De’Aaron Fox is not a player the Sixers would be interested in. A package from the Kings centered around Haliburton might be a different story. The second-year guard has played his best ball with Fox out of the lineup. Despite Sacramento’s struggles, Haliburton has continued to create his own offense and make threes at a high level, two things that could help the Sixers a great deal. Talks have reportedly broken down, but they could pick up again any minute.
Collins is a player that would be an outstanding fit next to Embiid, but not next to Tobias Harris. That’s likely why the Sixers reportedly tried to include Harris in talks with Atlanta. They were rebuffed by the Hawks when they attempted to include Harris in the deal. Collins ticks a couple boxes as a top-40-ish player that could inject much-needed athleticism to the roster.
It never made sense when SGA’s name was brought up as a possible trade candidate, but we can’t put anything past GM Sam Presti and his desire to own ALL the picks. Gilgeous-Alexander would fit the profile of what the Sixers are looking for fairly well as a playmaker.
The Sixers own most of their future first-round picks aside from the protected 2025 first-rounder they owe Oklahoma City as part of the Al Horford trade. Where it gets a little tricky is that means the team can’t move their 2024 or 2026 picks because of the Stepien Rule.
If the Sixers are truly pursuing a championship and trying to maximize Embiid’s prime, no player is truly untouchable. With that said, it would likely take the Sixers getting a marquee name to part with Tyrese Maxey. It would seem like it would have to be a strong return for the Sixers to entertain moving Matisse Thybulle.
But the team still has a decent amount of young, cheap, talented players. Furkan Korkmaz, Shake Milton, Isaiah Joe, Paul Reed, Charles Bassey, and Jaden Springer are all 25 or under and on reasonable contracts. Korkmaz is the most expensive of those names, but he still has a tradable contract for a guy that shot just below 40 percent from three the last two seasons before struggling this year.
Below is a collection of all the latest Simmons news and rumors assembled by the Liberty Ballers staff.