The Ben Simmons trade drama has continued to drag on for far longer than most of us have hoped. There may be finally some signs of progress from the eerily quiet Daryl Morey as December 15th marks the day where over 100 new NBA players are now able to be traded. This restriction applies to all players who signed contracts this past offseason and was negotiated to be a part of the players’ collective bargaining agreement.
Why This Interests the Sixers:
Daryl Morey and the Sixers have held strong on their search for a top 25 player in return for Ben Simmons. One of the major difficulties in finding this mystery player is that many teams have been unwilling or unable to let go of these players. The season is now in full swing with teams starting to establish themselves as buyers or sellers as the trade deadline approaches. With so many NBA teams having situations the Sixers are monitoring, it could take one player to change the trade picture and many more are now available:
Notable New Players able to be Traded:
- Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers)
- Kemba Walker (New York Knicks)
- Kyle Lowry (Miami Heat)
- Lonzo Ball (Chicago Bulls)
- Kelly Oubre Jr. (Charlotte Hornets)
- Devonte Graham (New Orleans Pelicans)
- Dennis Schroeder (Boston Celtics)
- Will Barton (Denver Nuggets)
- Kelly Olynyk (Detroit Pistons)
- Daniel Theis (Houston Rockets)
- Doug McDermott (San Antonio Spurs)
- Rodney Hood (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Mike Conley (Utah Jazz)
- Rudy Gay (Utah Jazz)
- Spencer Dinwiddie (Washington Wizards)
While there may not be any major changes to the list of players the Sixers are searching for, this variety of players could prove crucial to tieing up the loose ends of a trade. Given the salary cap and financial restrictions imposed by the NBA, trades require just as much financial planning as they do an evaluation of basketball talent. These additional players provide flexibility in the crunching of the numbers and could be the missing piece to allow a bigger deal to go through.
How the Affects the Sixers:
On the Sixers’ end of things, Danny Green, Georges Niang, and Andre Drummond are also now eligible to be traded. Drummond inked a one-year minimum deal seemingly with the intent to prove himself and gain a more lucrative deal next season. Considering this and the consistent praise from Doc Rivers, it seems pretty certain Drummond will end the season with the Sixers.
On the other hand, Danny Green and Furkan Korkmaz each signed multi-year deals this offseason that are fairly trade-friendly. Each has shown success in their roles but also have their respective weaknesses. While there will be roles on the Sixers for each player throughout the remainder of the season, Morey would almost certainly be willing to include these players if it can land the impact player(s) the Sixers are searching for.
While December 15th may not be in the set conclusion to the Simmons saga in the way some seem to think, it is pretty clear there are some major changes on the NBA horizon. With so many dominoes ready to fall, expect the Sixers to be right in the mix as the trade deadline approaches. As long as it feels the Ben Simmons situation has dragged on, it takes one deal for it all to be over and this franchise-altering day continues to approach.
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