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De'Aaron Fox Reportedly 'Content' with Kings amid Link to Ben Simmons in Trade Rumors

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 24, 2021

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Guard De'Aaron Fox reportedly isn't interested in getting traded by the Sacramento Kings despite his inclusion in rumors surrounding Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons.

According to Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer, Fox is "content" in Sacramento, and his desire to stay could be enough to stop the Kings from moving him.

While a Simmons-for-Fox trade has been part of the rumor mill throughout the offseason, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reported in July that it was "highly unlikely" the Kings would do such a deal.

Ever since his poor playoff performance last season in which he averaged just 11.9 points per game, shot 34.2 percent from the free-throw line and shied from taking shots in the fourth quarter, Simmons has been on the trade block.

The 25-year-old native of Australia has offensive deficiencies, but he is a three-time All-Star, two-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection and the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year.

Simmons' career averages of 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game are strong, and he's put up 15.9 points per contest. In addition to being a quality playmaker, he is an elite defender who finished second in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting last season.

All of that, along with his relatively young age, could make Simmons a desirable target, but it is fair to wonder if it would be worth parting with Fox for him.

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The 23-year-old was the No. 5 pick in 2017, and his development into a top-flight offensive player continued last season.

Fox averaged a career-high 25.2 points and 1.8 three-pointers made per game to go with 7.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

While it feels like Fox's best basketball may be yet to come, Simmons' offensive production has been moving in the wrong direction.

Fox also has a slightly more favorable pact, as he is under contract through 2025-26 after he signed a five-year extension in November, while Simmons' deal expires after the 2024-25 season.

While the Kings haven't made the playoffs during Fox's tenure and haven't reached the postseason at all since 2006, he hasn't been the issue.

If anything, the Kings need to put a better supporting cast around him, so the focus leading up to the 2021-22 season may be on moving players like Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III rather than the fastest-rising star on the team.

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