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Ben Simmons Trade Rumors: T-Wolves, Pacers, Cavs, Pistons, Raptors, Spurs Interested

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVOctober 2, 2021

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

The San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors are reportedly among the NBA teams who continue to show interest in a potential trade for disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Saturday the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves are the other teams "still inquiring about Simmons' availability."

The three-time All-Star didn't report for the start of training camp while he awaits a potential trade.

Fellow Sixers star Joel Embiid expressed frustration about how the situation has played out since he feels the franchise did everything in its power to build its roster to help Simmons, who's long struggled with his jump shot, succeed.

"I feel like our teams have been built, whether it's the shooting need or stretch-5 and all that stuff, I feel like [Simmons] always had it here. And we still have it," Embiid told reporters Thursday. "... Our teams have always been built around his needs."

He added: "The situation is disappointing, borderline kind of disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives."

Meanwhile, ESPN's Tim Bontemps and Brian Windhorst reported the 76ers placed the $8.25 million they owed Simmons on Friday in an escrow account and will take any fines he receives for his absence from that money. If he returns, he'll receive the remainder.

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Blockbuster trades rarely happen right before the start of the regular season, which has likely complicated matters for Philly. Typically those deals take place earlier in the offseason before front offices have built out their rosters through free agency and the draft.

Pompey reported the situation has been further complicated by the gap between how the Sixers want interested teams to value Simmons and the real market value:

"What could pose a problem for Simmons moving on is the Sixers' tendency to overvalue him. They want potential trade partners to view Simmons as a three-time All-Star, two-time All-Defensive first-teamer, Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, 2020 steals champion, and 2018 Rookie of the Year.
"Instead, other teams see a player who passed up a wide-open, potential game-tying dunk with three minutes, 30 seconds remaining in Game 7 of the conference semifinals series against the Hawks. They see a guy who routinely struggles in the postseason and is perceived to be more in love with the NBA lifestyle than the game."

In turn, sources told Pompey the general view is the 76ers have been "asking for too much" in trade talks.

Having at least six teams that are showing at least some level of interest in Simmons should help Sixers president Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand create competition for the 25-year-old Australian, who's well-rounded skill set could really help a team with plenty of shooters already in place.

The biggest question now is whether the 76ers can work through the situation and finalize a deal before they tip off the regular season Oct. 20 when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans.

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