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 with links to the latest reputable rumors. Check back for updates as more reports and rumors pop up.
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. Now, there are reports that the Sixers and Nets could discuss a Harden-Simmons deal before the deadline. Harden and the Nets have recently tried to downplay any reports of the guard’s unhappiness, but often where there’s smoke there’s fire. There’s plenty to suggest that Harden is frustrated and willing to explore his options in free agency — if not sooner.
On Saturday evening ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski hopped on “NBA Countdown” to at least pour a glass of cold water on the latest Harden to Philadelphia rumors. Multiple reports on Monday outlined a bizarre situation where the teams aren’t even in direct contact and that the sides are far apart on a potential deal ... but nothing is being ruled out.
Thursday morning we got the most exciting news yet — Harden wants to be a Sixer and wants to be one before the deadline. Whoa. A Woj bomb, indeed. We’ll see if THE Woj bomb comes before 3 p.m.
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.
Bradley Beal (also, this offseason?)
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 to 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. On Monday, Beal’s agent was in D.C. reportedly to discuss his client’s future with the organization. Unfortunately, it was revealed on Tuesday that Beal will undergo season-ending wrist surgery.
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.
Tyrese Haliburton (TRADED to Pacers)
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. Morey himself said he believes the teams could align on a deal.
We now know that Haliburton has been traded to the Pacers in a pretty uninspiring deal for the Kings. Oh, what could’ve been.
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 attach 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.