Ben Simmons Trade Rumors: Cavs 'Interesting' to Watch; 76ers 'Adamant' About Demands

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 26, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons plays during Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

The Cleveland Cavaliers could be a landing spot for Ben Simmons in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski broke down the situation Saturday on NBA Countdown (h/t Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire):

"Here's an interesting team to watch, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who before they went on this really incredible start to the season had been engaged with Philly on Simmons. They’ve got some really intriguing assets either in a straight deal with Philly or perhaps a three- or four-team deal, and we reported earlier J.B. Bickerstaff agreed to a new extension today through '26-'27."

Wojnarowski also listed the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves as teams that were previously engaged with Philadelphia and could continue talks before the Feb. 10 deadline.

Despite the interest, the 76ers are reportedly "adamant" that they won't trade Simmons if their demands aren't met, per NBA insider Marc Stein.

Simmons has yet to play in 2021-22, saying earlier in the year that he is not mentally ready to compete. He requested a trade in the offseason before reporting to training camp in October.

The 25-year-old still has value as a three-time All-Star and two-time All-Defensive player.

The 6'11" guard has averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game over his career and can be a difference-maker in many different phases of the game. It's kept the 76ers from selling low on him, reportedly targeting players like Damian Lillard in trades, per Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN.

They noted: "Philadelphia has been aggressively trying to assemble two- and three-team deal structures to land a package that would include a top-25-level player, sources said."

Cleveland has plenty of young talent, including Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, Isaac Okoro and the injured Collin Sexton. Those who aren't included in a deal could help form an exciting young core alongside Simmons as the Cavaliers try to return to contention.

The Cavs are already off to a strong start at 19-13 and could use a splash trade to put them over the top.