With the offseason swiftly approaching our rearview mirror, we’ll continue to monitor the Ben Simmons reports, rumors, and general chitter chatter for you. At this point many of us have seen Simmons’ name land in trade rumors with almost every starter in the NBA. The latest, involving Houston’s John Wall, makes some of the least sense of all, but here we are:
After talking to some folks over the weekend, it seems the Houston Rockets are seriously interested in acquiring 76ers forward Ben Simmons prior to the start of training camp.— Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) September 20, 2021
Things remain fluid but John Wall would be headed to Philadelphia in a possible trade, per sources.
There are more than a few reasons why Wall doesn’t make an ideal running mate for Joel Embiid. His career 32% three-point percentage doesn’t exactly scream “floor spacer.” Wall is an even bigger injury risk than Joel Embiid but without any of that “MVP-caliber whenever healthy” thing Jo has going for himself. Wall has only logged 113 regular-season games since the end of the 2016-2017 season. Oh, and he makes over $44M per season. The Sixers couldn’t even swap Simmons straight up for Houston’s point guard. They’d also have to kick in another $2M and change, a player like Matisse Thybulle could make the math work per Fanspo.com. Other than all of that it’s a terrific fit.
If Daryl Morey asked the Golden State Warriors for their three most recent first-round picks (James Wiseman, plus selections 7 and 14 in the 2021 draft) and two additional future 1st round picks, imagine what he’d need in order to part with Simmons and Matisse Thybulle while taking back one of the worst contracts in the league in Wall. If you told me it happened, you’d need to spend several minutes showing me that the tweet from Woj wasn’t a fraud burner account. And then I’d have to pivot to thinking “ohhh he got back the precise amount of picks the Blazers said they’d need in order to part with Dame Lillard.”
OK yes, so that will be four picks for Ben himself. One first and three seconds for Matisse. And then another three firsts to take on Wall. What’s that Elton? Oh, and Elton says we’d like Kevin Porter Jr. and a few of your Brooklyn picks too.
Now if John Wall were eventually bought out and the NBA made a new rule that talented former All-Stars don’t absolutely have to go to New York or L.A. via buyout market? Then I’d be pretty excited for the Sixers to kick the tires on the former 5-time All Star who just turned 31 this month. Wall averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game in 40 games last year. He shot just 31.7 percent from three. If he shot the ball well maybe he could spell Tyrese Maxey here or there and push Shake Milton for minutes.
As for the latest on the Simmons front, as zany as all of the rumors make everything seem not much has realllly changed in a long time.
The expectation remains, one week out from 76ers media day, that Ben Simmons will choose not to report to the team's training camp, league sources say. But the Sixers, sources say, remain intent on trying to convince Simmons to report.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 20, 2021
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That’s the latest nugget from The New York Times’ Marc Stein. Simmons’ camp has reportedly asked for a trade and threatened that their client would hold out, per The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey. The team would seem to prefer to head into the season with Simmons in the lineup, at least as long as players like Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal are not currently available via trade. Simmons has four years remaining on a max contract so he doesn’t have the leverage here, although his being willing to hold out through the NBA trade deadline would be a fairly wild power move, even for Klutch.
If you read reports that Rich Paul met with the Sixers’ Brass to discuss Simmons’ future back on June 24th and thought to yourself “Simmons wants out, but the Sixers probably don’t want to sell at such a low point in his trade value, at least unless they could land someone like Dame” well you can continue on with your prior vantage point. You nailed it. The summer came and went without the Blazers doing much to convince their best player ever they can win a title. Additions like Larry Nance Jr. will help but don’t move the needle. But Dame appears content, for now, to give the only team he’s ever played for the benefit of the doubt anyway. Or is he just waiting until winter when the Knicks can offer some of their newly signed or extended players?
Simmons may very much intend to hold out, although I wonder if there might be some moves the team could make to change his mind. For now, it appears we’re on a collision course with an awkward holdout. Hopefully, Daryl Morey can Kumbayah this thing, convince Simmons to play and help the team bank some wins while banking some triple-doubles for himself. Maybe by that time, the Blazers would already look bad enough Lillard gets a wandering eye. That’s your Yahtzee scenario here. The others are much murkier.