At the forefront of this NBA trade season is the dramatic situation between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers. The rumors have cycled through the Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Hawks, among other teams, until they ultimately landed on the idea of the Sixers holding on to Simmons and hoping for a James Harden sign-and-trade at the end of the season. That could change after recent speculation involving the Washington Wizards.
Recently, on an episode of The Athletic NBA Show, Sam Amick, Fred Katz, and Anthony Slater discussed the possibility of the Washington Wizards and star Bradley Beal parting ways at the trade deadline. The Wizards have struggled this season, as has Bradley Beal, and with his pending free agency, it was stated that the odds of Beal’s return aren’t certain, and that could affect the Wizards at the deadline.
Bradley Beal’s value currently is also in question as he is considered to be having a down year statistically so far this season. This begs the question if the Sixers target Beal and Washington considers a Beal deal, what would a deal look like?
Coincidentally, this was discussed on a recent episode of The Bill Simmons podcast. The concept of trading Beal was brought up, and the connection to Philadelphia was instantly made. Simmons (Bill, not Ben) suggested (semi-jokingly) that the Wizards could be willing to consider a Ben Simmons/Bradley Beal swap on the condition that the Sixers add Danny Green and take on the vastly overpaid Davis Bertans.
It’s an interesting concept when you get down to it. Both Simmons and Beal have diminished value due in part to recent performance (or lack thereof); however, the age difference and potential salary difference could play directly into the Sixers’ favor. Especially if they’re willing to accept Bertans’ remaining $49 million ($38 million guaranteed) over the next three seasons.
There has yet to be any concrete evidence of the Sixers pursuing Beal or of Washington making Beal available, but between now and the 10th of February, everything can change. Look for the Sixers to make a push for the Wizards star as they continue to add a legitimate secondary star to Joel Embiid.