76ers Trade Rumors: Ben Simmons Move Not Being Discussed with Pacers Despite BuzzJuly 3, 2021
Any rumors of a potential deal to send Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Indiana Pacers this offseason appear to be overblown. At least that's the case as of early July.
According to J. Michael of IndyStar, there haven't been any talks between the two teams, though the Pacers are apparently open to trading down from the No. 13 overall pick—or including the pick as part of a larger trade package:
J. Michael @ThisIsJMichael
While <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pacers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pacers</a> are open to moving down from 13 or packaging it in a deal, Im told there havent been any talks w/<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sixers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sixers</a> who are angling for Lillard. For context about Pacers, they avoid albatross contracts. Had a deal in place for Conley 2 yrs ago nixed by Simon. Too much salary
J. Michael @ThisIsJMichael
So why would <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pacers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pacers</a> be open to moving down from 13? Bc it only makes sense to move up into the top 6. After that there may not be much difference btw 9-13 or 13-20. If you can get your player lower and get other assets why not?
Indiana finished last season 34-38, missed out on the postseason for the first time since 2014-15 and fired head coach Nate Bjorkgren after just one year. Former Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was named Bjorkgren's replacement on June 24.
Whether the Sixers even feel a need to move Simmons is unclear.
Despite his shooting woes during the postseason—specifically his lack of attempts and poor percentages—Philly head coach Doc Rivers told reporters the club has a plan of action to develop the 24-year-old's offense and remains "bullish" on the LSU product's abilities.
In 58 regular-season games, Simmons averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists, but his scoring dropped to 11.9 points per game in 12 postseason contests.
"I think some of the stuff is obvious," Rivers said. "We're not hiding that Ben has to become a better free-throw shooter, and a more confident free-throw shooter. If that happens, I really believe a lot of the other parts of his game will follow. I said that before the season started. The first thing I said was, 'We got to get him to the line 10 times a night.' So, we've got to put in work so he can get there. But if we can get him there, man, his game goes to a different level."
For now, that work will continue in Philadelphia as the Eastern Conference contender continues to work toward its first Finals appearance since 2001.