Other teams have a feeling the Philadelphia 76ers will trade Ben Simmons before the February 10 trade deadline, not wanting to lose a bonus year from Joel Embiid. The Cavaliers are the latest team to be mentioned as a possible destination, but previously the Lakers, Knicks, Celtics, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Kings and Pacers have all been mentioned.
Add the Atlanta Hawks to the mix.
That, according to Marc Stein in his must-read newsletter, but he also warns that the 76ers could choose to keep Simmons – and they would still love him to come back and play for them.
According to a source familiar with the thought of Philadelphia, convincing Simmons to join the team and play as much time left as possible is the club’s “No. 1 goal” when it comes to the wayward playmaker …
Yet it’s also been evident for weeks, if not months, that the Sixers don’t buy into the idea that they lose a year of Joel Embiid’s bonus if they delay a deal with Simmons until the offseason. . Philly’s fear is that he could do something much more damaging and waste the opportunity to acquire a true star complementary to Embiid if he rushes into a deal this season for the various headliners he is. could get immediately …
A league source suggested this week that I keep an eye on Atlanta as an emerging contender for the Philadelphia Simmons. The Hawks woke up on Friday with a disappointing 17-20 (good for only 12th place in the East) and placed 26th in the defensive standings… The Hawks don’t seem to have a star available at the Lillard / Beal level to make the Kind of offer Philadelphia is looking for Simmons, but they have a lot of compelling business pieces to try to attract other teams and expand options in a notional multi-team trade build.
Three quick thoughts on this report:
• Atlanta general manager Travis Schlenk went on the radio and lambasted his team’s defense and added that he could shake that team up. Trading for Simmons would definitely be a reshuffle. Simmons brings defense and size to the backcourt that Young lacks, and that would give the team two dynamic passers to build around. There is potential there, but as always, the question becomes “at what cost?” What would Atlanta have to give up for a business like this to work? De’Andre Hunter and / or Cam Reddish? John Collins? Choice ? What is the price ?
• The 76ers would absolutely lose a year of Embiid’s best – and with his injury history, that’s a significant risk. This is why other teams believe that an exchange will be found. Embiid is a force and someone the Nets and even Milwaukee struggle to measure themselves against. The success of the Suns and Warriors right now (and Chicago to some extent, the Wizards as well) shows the value of depth and a strong set. 76ers general manager Daryl Morey is chasing the stars, but there are other ways to build a competitor. If the 76ers get enough good defenders and shooters around Embiid, there’s no way they’re going to have a deep playoff run and come out of the East.
• I’m sure the 76ers would love Simmons to come back and play for them. I would like to recover from a night of drinking like I did when I was 21. None of these things are happening. Simmons made it clear.