Ben Simmons Trade Rumors: Hornets Among New Teams to Inquire About 76ers PGJanuary 24, 2022
The Charlotte Hornets have reportedly joined the Ben Simmons sweepstakes, according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic, but "there's been nothing substantive" to the talks with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks are considered the most active tams in trade talks, although the 76ers could also keep the three-time All-Star beyond the NBA's Feb. 10 trade deadline and use him in deals to land a superstar in the offseason.
A lack of urgency to complete a trade could keep the Sixers' price tag high.
"The 76ers have wanted a top-level All-Star or a package featuring a bevy of first-round draft picks for Simmons," Charania and Amick reported.
The Hornets have exciting young players in LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, but they likely don't want to to deal either one as they build for the future. Though Bridges is set to become a restricted free agent in the offseason, he is in the midst of a breakout season with averages of 20.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Other contributors like Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier or Kelly Oubre Jr. could be appealing for the 76ers as they try to build a contender, but they all fall short of the Sixers' reported asking price.
Philadelphia could still change its mind as it tries to take advantage of an MVP-caliber campaign from Joel Embiid. The center is averaging 28.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, although the squad sits in sixth place in the East with a 27-19 record.
A trade could work out for both teams, especially helping Charlotte on the defensive end.
The Hornets enter Monday sixth in the NBA in offensive rating but just 26th in defensive efficiency.
Simmons could turn things around in a hurry as an elite defender who can guard multiple positions. He has been named first-team All-Defense in each of the last two years and finished the 2020-21 season tied for sixth leaguewide in defensive win shares, per Basketball Reference.
The Hornets could have an exciting team if they pull off a trade for Simmons.