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Kings unwilling to include De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton in trade for Ben Simmons

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For that reason, it’s unlikely that Ben Simmons will play for the Kings this season.

Philadelphia 76ers v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Ben Simmons wants out of Philadelphia and the Sacramento Kings have the assets to make a competitive offer for him. However, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Kings’ unwillingness to include their two most-prized assets, De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, will keep Simmons from suiting up in the purple and black ... for now, at least:

According to a source with knowledge of their situation, the Kings spoke to the Sixers weeks ago and made it clear that neither De’Aaron Fox nor Tyrese Haliburton would not be included in a possible Simmons deal. That stance, the source said, has not and will not change and the internal expectation is that the core of their roster will remain the same heading into training camp later this month. There are no current conversations between the two teams and, barring a drastic change in demands, it appears the Kings are an unlikely landing spot for Simmons.

Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reported something similar on Tuesday, but he speculated that a trade involving Marvin Bagley III, Buddy Hield and multiple draft picks was still possible. If we’re to believe the latest intel from Amick, that package won’t even get the Sixers to pick up the phone.

Given the fact that the Sixers are in win-now mode, that shouldn’t come as some huge surprise. It also shouldn’t be startling that both Daryl Morey and Monte McNair are playing hard ball with training camp still a few weeks away.

But if the Kings are serious about ending their playoff drought this season, or, at the very least, competing for a spot in the play-in tournament, then everyone but Fox should be on the table. There’s no logic in being married to a 31-win roster, especially when it looks like only one player on the team can be the first or second-best player on a championship team.

That’s not to say the Kings shouldn’t try and hold onto Haliburton — they absolutely should — but if Simmons can be had for Haliburton, Hield and draft compensation, then there should be a more meaningful conversation than the one that’s seemingly being had right now.