The NBA trade deadline is just over a month away, and Ben Simmons is a big name to watch. Simmons is yet to appear in a game for the Philadelphia 76ers this season, as the team continue to scour the market for a suitable trade for the disgruntled All-Star.
One team to watch out for when it comes to a potential trade is the Atlanta Hawks, who have recently emerged as a contender for Simmons, according to NBA reporter Marc Stein. But, while the Hawks may be interested in Simmons, their lack of a tradable star-caliber player (aside from Trae Young, who the Hawks are obviously not interested in moving) makes a direct deal between them and them unlikely. Sixers. So, if Simmons were to end up in Atlanta, it would likely be as part of a multi-team deal.
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 just 12th in the East) and placed 26th in the defensive standings. They have also just climbed to the top of the list of teams to watch at this trade deadline after general manager Travis Schlenk said in a radio interview earlier this week with 92.9 FM in Atlanta that he was handing over. openly questioned the wisdom of bringing the same team back after the Hawks’ Cinderella qualified for the Eastern Conference Finals last season. “It’s my responsibility to put a product on the floor that can win,” Schlenk said, “and at the moment I’m not sure I’ve done that.”
The Hawks don’t appear to have a star available at the Lillard / Beal level to make the kind of offer Philadelphia is looking for for Simmons, but they have plenty of attractive trade pieces to try to bring in other teams and expand the teams. options in a theoretical multi. -construction sales team. The prospect of a Trae Young / Simmons combination, given the defense Simmons could bring to Atlanta and the devastating playmaking duo he could form with Young, would certainly intrigue me.
Thus, the Hawks can be added to a list of teams intrigued by Simmons that already includes the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves, among others. It remains to be seen whether any of those teams will be able to come up with an offer compelling enough to see Philadelphia part ways with the former overall top pick.
Despite making it clear that he wants to continue his career elsewhere, the Sixers are still hoping to convince Simmons to play for the team this season, as they would rather keep and play him rather than trade him. They also don’t want to settle for a return just to strike a deal, as such a move could jeopardize their long-term prospects. Again, from Stein:
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 it could do something much more damaging and waste the opportunity to acquire a true complementary star to Embiid if he rushes into a deal this season for the various headliners he could. get it immediately, like De’Aaron Fox of Sacramento or Collin Sexton of Cleveland or the best package that longtime interested teams like Minnesota, Indiana or San Antonio could present.
Considering everything that has transpired between the two sides, it’s hard to imagine Simmons getting ready for the Sixers again, but crazier things have happened. Perhaps a deal will come to fruition in the next few weeks. Otherwise, the drama in Philadelphia could drag into the offseason.