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Kings considered ‘favorites’ to land Ben Simmons by rival executives

Will the Kings finally make an impactful trade?

NBA: Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

As the NBA trade deadline continues to inch closer and closer, both teams and fans are fixated on where Ben Simmons will end up. According to NBA insider Marc Stein, executives around the league still view the Sacramento Kings as the most likely landing spot for Simmons, but nothing is close to being finalized.

“I’ve heard Sacramento described by more than one rival team as the closest thing there is to a trade partner you could class as “favorites” to bring a resolution to the seemingly interminable Simmons standoff before the deadline (as things stand). Reason being: More than one rival team believes Sacramento, in its desire for a significant shakeup as it bumbles toward a record 16th consecutive season out of the playoffs, could be convinced to take on Tobias Harris’ contract to facilitate a Simmons deal. If the Sixers can’t get the top-flight player they covet, going ahead with a Simmons deal that enables them to shed the two years and nearly $80 million left on Harris’ contract after this season might be too enticing to resist rather than holding out for a star in return.”

When the initial trade talks between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Kings began this last offseason, the Sixers made it very clear they would only entertain packages that included De’Aaron Fox. Now almost halfway through the season, things may have changed.

Regardless of whether or not Kings are willing to include Fox, or if they convince themselves to take on the hefty contract of Tobias Harris for Ben Simmons, it might be enough to make it happen. The 76ers’ newly-allotted cap space would create room for them to sign any big time free agents, (e.g., Bradley Beal or James Harden) that might want to pair up with the MVP caliber big man in Joel Embiid.

Obviously Simmons wants out, and the Sixers have been vocal about their willingness to rid themselves of Harris as well. The front office may reach a point where they have simply had enough of waiting and lower their standards to make a trade finally happen.

There a few different ways this trade will go down.

If Fox or Tyrese Haliburton are included, the Kings will have a lot more leverage and be able to have the trade lean in a direction they want.

If neither Fox nor Haliburton are included, Sacramento will essentially give up the rest of the team as well as tons of draft capital.

The most likely package would look like this:

Philadelphia receives: Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, and some quality picks.

Sacramento receives: Simmons, Harris, and if they’re lucky Matisse Thybulle.

Whatever the deal turns out to be, it needs to happen soon. Sacramento can not continue to be idle and wait things out. A good front office needs to have the guts to take risks, not sit back in fear they will regret their actions.