The Ben Simmons situation in Philadelphia may finally be reaching a conclusion. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday that Simmons told the Sixers brass, including president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand, and head coach Doc Rivers that he no longer wants to be part of the team.
With training camp set to open up at the end of September, trade discussions involving Simmons may start to heat up and in July, NBA insider Marc Stein reported that the Kings were among the team's considered suitors for the three-time All-Star. However, that interest may not be mutual on Simmons’ end.
Pompey spoke to a Western Conference executive that said Simmons “wants to go to three California teams.” With there being four teams in the state it begs the question as to which three California teams Simmons is eyeing.
Of the four California teams, the Lakers make the least amount of sense considering they would likely have to include one of their star players for salary matching purposes. Meanwhile, the Clippers have the salaries to make a trade work, but not the talent or the assets.
From the Kings' perspective, going after Simmons makes a lot of sense. Three-time All-Stars of Simmons’ caliber don’t grow on trees and would not be normally available to Sacramento in free agency. How much would Sacramento have to give though?
Pompey’s report mentioned that the Sixers have not been offered what they feel is fair value for Simmons. Now though, with Simmons and Klutch Sports putting the heat on the Sixers, they might not get to be quite as picky with trade packages for the 25-year old.
That being said, the Sixers are in win-now mode, so a package headlined by several young players and future draft picks doesn’t make much sense for a Sixers team trying to win the championship.
General manager Monte McNair formerly worked under Morey in Houston. Could McNair’s prior relationship with Morey be enough to grease the wheels and get trade conversations going between the Kings and the Sixers? It sounds like we’ll find out sooner rather than later.