In their search for a deal to trade Ben Simmons, the Sixers have struggled to find a proposed offer to their liking. Should the Sixers lower their asking price?
There may not be an exact list of who the Sixers would consider trading Ben Simmons for, but one clear thing is that Daryl Morey is still star hunting in any deal involving Simmons. According to Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times, Daryl Morey appears to be unsatisfied so far in the trade proposals the Sixers have received.
That’s not exactly surprising, considering the rumored packages that have been or could be offered. For instance, A deal for Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley isn’t exactly inspiring unless you live in Sacramento.
There are certainly many other offers that have been made and just not released, but there’s obviously a great difference between the offers Morey wants and those he is getting.
What Do The Sixers Want?
Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal were initially thought to be the most likely targets. It was then reported that the Sixers were looking for an “All-Star-caliber player” in return for Simmons. Tom Moore’s source says something very interesting, though, that shows the Sixers may still be aiming sky-high. Here’s an excerpt from Moore’s piece:
“President of basketball operations Daryl Morey has explored all available trade possibilities and hasn’t been able to secure a top 5-10 player in exchange for Simmons, a three-time all-star selection and NBA Defensive Player of the Year runner-up last season. The Trail Blazers, for example, aren’t willing to part with star guard Damian Lillard.”
The key portion is “a top 5-10 player”, not a fringe All-Star, not even a top 20 player (where Simmons was thought to reside). The Sixers are clearly out for a superstar to pair with Joel Embiid. Players in that range likely include Damian Lillard, Kawhi Leonard, and James Harden, all of which are unlikely to be traded.
The glimmer of hope was Damian Lillard, who, for a time, seemed like he was going to request a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers; however, he has since been convinced to stay by Neil Olshey’s apparent silver tongue. With Lillard off the market, it just doesn’t seem feasible that the Sixers could acquire a top 5-10 player in the NBA no matter the offer.
Should The Sixers Lower Their Asking Price?
If Lillard were to become available, obviously, that’s the best-case scenario. With that unlikely to happen, should Morey stop trying to trade a former top 20 player for a current top 10 player? How far down the board should they go?
Even a top 20 player is likely out of the question at this point. It’s hard to see a trade being made right now that would land Simmons a Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Bradley Beal level player, either. Even younger stars like Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker are surely unattainable given their success with their respective teams.
The inconvenient truth when it comes to a Simmons trade is that there don’t appear to be any available superstars waiting in the wings at the moment.
So where does that leave the Sixers?
The Sixers can hope for the best, but regarding a player who has fallen as far as Simmons, a more realistic target is likely a young top 50 player, or a more experienced top 40 player plus, or another starting-caliber player or draft picks.
To be clear, this isn’t to say that a deal for Buddy Hield should be deemed acceptable. More so that the team should be willing to target veterans on the level of a CJ McCollum or a Malcolm Brogdon, assuming that they receive additional assets as well.
The main point of Tom Moore’s source was that the Sixers are expecting Ben Simmons to play, and if that is the case, then there is a solid chance for Simmons to rebuild his value, and then there can be conversations about trading Simmons for a top 20 player. For now, though, if the Sixers want to move Ben Simmons, they’ll have to temper expectations.