Another day, another Ben Simmons trade rumor. The name here is one you’re already quite familiar with in this context, Sacramento Kings’ guard De’Aaron Fox. There are officially 27 days until the Feb. 10 NBA Trade Deadline so no doubt the phone lines will be worked all around the league with Philadelphia at the epicenter of talks. Now that Kyrie Irving is eligible to play in away games, there is no other situation that figures to impact the NBA as much as whatever the Sixers decide to do or not do about Ben Simmons.
The latest, per Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes:
“The Philadelphia 76ers canvassed the prospect of a Fox, Ben Simmons trade package as recently as a few days ago, but dialogue remains exploratory due diligence, league sources told Yahoo Sports....
The Kings, under second-year general manager Monte McNair, are expected to be aggressively active at the trade deadline, sources said. The front office has been given the green light by team owner Vivek Radavine to survey all options with the goal of drastically improving the roster.”
Fox is a player the Sixers as an organization likely gave strong consideration to during the summer of 2017, ahead of that pivotal draft. Fox handily outplayed Lonzo Ball on the tournament stage as a Kentucky freshman that year. Ironically, former President Bryan Colangelo may have decided Fox’s fit alongside Ben Simmons didn’t make too much sense before he traded up for Markelle Fultz.
Fast-forward. Over the past summer, the idea of a Simmons-Fox trade made some sense on paper. But Fox struggled as another Kentucky combo guard Tyrese Maxey shined. The already slim possibility of a Simmons-Fox swap started to feel less and less likely.
Fox is averaging 20.9 points, 5.1 assists, 3.7 rebounds, shooting just 24 percent from downtown. That doesn’t exactly scream “best fit” to play alongside Joel Embiid.
But is it possible the Sixers, disappointed with current offers have become a bit desperate and lowered their asking price? Most reports have indicated that is not the case. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski even hinted the opposite may be true.
“Some teams have even described the Sixers’ asking price for a Simmons’ deal as growing in price- not declining, sources told ESPN,” reported Woj in his update about the Morey-Brand meet with Simmons’ agent Rich Paul last Wednesday.
So what do we make of Haynes’ report?
A source tells our Paul Hudrick that the Sixers are not interested in acquiring Fox. The only interest in a deal with Sacramento is a multi-team trade that sends Fox to a team that has what the Sixers want.
This makes more sense. Assuming the Sixers did “canvass the prospect” of acquiring Fox, it was with the idea of redirecting him to a third team. The Sixers continue to target a big name like Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard. So if the Washington Wizards or Portland Trailblazers happened to really like Fox, that would be a crucial piece of information for Morey and company here.