Ben Simmons Trade Rumors: Hawks Considered an 'Emerging Suitor' for 76ers Star

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 7, 2022

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons takes part in a practice at the NBA basketball team's facility, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Camden, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly a potential landing spot in Ben Simmons trade talks.

Marc Stein reported the Hawks are an "emerging suitor" in negotiations, which have been dormant for several weeks with NBA rosters largely stagnant amid the latest COVID-19 wave.

Simmons has not played this season amid a falling out with the Sixers organization. The three-time All-Star demanded a trade this offseason and then held out of training camp before briefly reporting and then leaving again, citing mental health concerns. Updates on Simmons' status have been few and far between since the regular season began.

The overwhelming likelihood appears that Simmons has played his last game in a Sixers uniform, but president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has been steadfast in refusing to give up Simmons for a steep discount.

The Hawks would not part with Trae Young in any potential deal, but they have several other young players who could be intriguing to the Sixers. A package of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Cam Reddish and Delon Wright (along with draft picks) works under the cap, but none of those players are the type of difference-makers Morey has targeted. Atlanta could sub out Wright for Kevin Huerter, but even then it's a package of three players who don't have All-Star talent for a player who was building a Hall of Fame resume.

The Hawks would also potentially balk at moving three rotation players for one highly disgruntled star, no matter how talented.

The best avenue for the Sixers likely remains finding a one-for-one deal with another team that needs a shakeup. Portland has long stood out as a potential suitor, but Morey's eyes for Damian Lillard have been a road block.