Between their future first-round picks and their collection of young talent, the Sacramento Kings have enough assets to make a trade for an All-Star-level player, and according to NBA reporter Marc Stein’s latest newsletter on Substack, they have their eyes on one: Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons.
The length of Simmons’ contract, if not the dollars, only adds to his appeal to teams that do not typically attract free agents. He has four seasons left on his contract at nearly $150 million — and the team control that comes with that status, in most cases, is bound to outweigh any trepidation teams might feel about the pressure Simmons’ agent Rich Paul can apply to dissuade them from pursuing him.
Just scan through the teams that have been linked to a Simmons trade already: Cleveland, Indiana, Minnesota and Sacramento are known suitors. Toronto is also said to have expressed interest. More will emerge.
The Simmons to Sacramento trade scenario is one that has been floated among Kings fans on Twitter since the 76ers were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs and Simmons was subsequently thrown under the bus by his All-Star teammate Joel Embiid and his head coach Doc Rivers. But whether or not the Kings actually have enough for Simmons depends on what the 76ers ask in return for him.
According to a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic on Tuesday, the 76ers want an “All-Star-caliber player” in exchange for Simmons, which, at this point of the offseason is normal. Last season, the Houston Rockets asked for an All-Star-level player for James Harden and they ended up with Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs and four first-round picks.
If the asking price for Simmons lowers in the same way, then the Kings may have a shot at completing a deal. Just looking at the numbers, a package centered around Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III works. Add in the No. 10 pick and there could be some traction.
If Daryl Morey doesn’t budge, though, the Kings likely won’t have enough to get the deal done. The only player the Kings have that qualifies as an “All-Star-caliber” player is De’Aaron Fox and there’s no reason to believe Monte McNair is open to listening to offers for Fox. It can also be argued that a Fox for Simmons swap would be a lateral move for the Kings — ideally, you want them both.
Whatever conclusion the 76ers come to, we likely won’t know about it for a little while longer, especially if a high draft pick isn’t what they’re after. In other words, don’t expect a Woj Bomb this weekend.