Ben Simmons Trade Rumors: Warriors, Cavaliers Unwilling to Meet 76ers' Asking Price

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 29, 2021

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young (11) fouls Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons (25) during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series on Monday, June 14, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

The Philadelphia 76ers are asking for a bounty in potential Ben Simmons' trades. 

According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the team asked the Golden State Warriors for "Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, the Nos. 7 and 14 picks in tonight's NBA draft along with two future first-rounders" in a potential Simmons swap. The Dubs reportedly rejected that offer. 

The Sixers and Cleveland Cavaliers also had talks, per Zach Harper of The Athletic, but "an asking price of every young player the Cavs value plus multiple first-round picks in the future wasn't something they'd consider."

Ah, but the reported offers don't end there. Matt Moore of the Action Network reported that the Sixers asked for "Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and the 4th overall pick" as the framework for a potential Simmons swap. That offer, unsurprisingly, was rejected by Toronto. 

And The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor said on The Mismatch podcast (h/t Jeff Garcia of News4SanAntonio.com) that the Sixers had reportedly engaged the San Antonio Spurs in trade talks and asked for "four first-round draft picks, and three pick swaps, and a young player." 

The Sixers may not receive the huge package for Simmons they are reportedly seeking—ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Philly is trying to land "almost a Harden-esque type package" in a deal—but it's pretty clear they aren't going to rush into a bad deal for the two-time All-Star, either. 

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

ESPN Sources: Sixers continue to canvass the league for Ben Simmons trades — armed with a steep asking price. Simmons and his agent, Klutch CEO Rich Paul, are in step with a move elsewhere. Draft night is always an ideal vehicle for a deal, but talks could continue into summer.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

The latest on the Ben Simmons trade talks heading into Thursday’s NBA Draft on ESPN and ABC <a href="https://t.co/n5XoD14JWB">pic.twitter.com/n5XoD14JWB</a>

The end goal for Philly is simple—get another superstar, namely one with elite perimeter shot creation, to pair with Joel Embiid. While some of the deals mentioned above don't directly do that, they would load the Sixers would assets should players like Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal become available via trade this offseason. 

The Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards might want to do a full rebuild if either of those players ask out, and the 25-year-old Simmons would be on a different timeline than those potential tanking efforts. 

There is the argument that Simmons' trade value has never been lower after he continuously disappeared from the Sixers' offense in the fourth quarter in each game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, a series the top-seeded Sixers surprisingly lost in seven games to the young Atlanta Hawks. 

But Simmons is also arguably the best and most versatile defensive player in the NBA, one of the game's best passers (he's averaged 7.7 assists per game in his career), a solid interior scorer, an absolute menace in transition and a player with plenty of untapped potential, most of it surrounding his seeming unwillingness to take jump shots.

He's also never missed the playoffs in his four seasons on the court. Not many players 25 or younger can claim four straight postseason appearances as the No. 2 player on their roster. Oh, and he's under contract for the next four seasons. Teams wouldn't be giving up assets for a player who could leave them in a year or two as a free agent. 

So while there will continue to be debates about his ultimate value—his detractors will point out that come the playoffs, when halfcourt scoring is paramount, Simmons' becomes a huge liability on that end of the court—the Sixers can make a strong argument that their unique point guard should fetch them a king's ransom.

Whether teams around the NBA agree is another story entirely.