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Ben Simmons Trade Rumors: Raptors Rejected Offer for Lowry, VanVleet, Anunoby

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 28, 2021

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly offered Ben Simmons to the Toronto Raptors for Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and the No. 4 overall draft pick, but the Raps rejected that deal.

Matt Moore of the Action Network provided the report.

"Multiple sources confirmed Sunday that the Toronto Raptors have emerged as a team with 'significant' interest in Simmons. One source close to talks said discussions have not been substantial as of yet. Multiple sources including those close to talks said a proposed framework including Raptors guards Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and the fourth overall pick in Thursday’s draft for Simmons was rejected by Toronto."

The 25-year-old Simmons is a three-time All-Star who has helped lead Philadelphia to the playoffs each of the past four seasons.

He averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game last year en route to Philadelphia earning the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. However, he struggled in the 76ers' second-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, averaging only 9.9 points per game while shooting a horrendous 33.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Simmons went only 6-of-14 from the field over the last three games of the series, and he did not attempt a single shot in the fourth quarter of those games. He scored only five points on 2-of-4 shooting in Game 7, which Philly lost 103-96.

Trade rumors have swirled following the season, to the point where a league source told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer that a Simmons deal is "inevitable."

“Philadelphia has options,” that source told Pompey. “They’re just not finite.”

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Dave Early of Liberty Ballers aggregated a bunch of trade rumors surrounding Simmons, and they all seem to be pointing to his eventual exit.

The Raptors appear to have interest.

"Talks between the Raptors and Sixers are considered to be the most advanced of any early conversations Philadelphia has had for the 25-year-old All-Star," Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report noted.

Longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein also reported on a podcast with former ESPN NBA draft analyst Chad Ford that the Raps "expressed some interest" in dealing for Simmons (h/t Mike Luciano of Raptors Rapture).

On the Raptors' end, they have some decisions to make following a disappointing 27-45 season.

Of note, six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry is set to enter unrestricted free agency, leaving a potential backcourt gap. Simmons could be that answer, although Toronto could have some competition in the trade market for the 25-year-old.

Stein reported on Substack that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings also have interest in Simmons.

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