NBA Trade Rumors: 76ers Talked Domantas Sabonis, Pascal Siakam amid Ben Simmons Buzz

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 24, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 19: Domantas Sabonis #11 of the Indiana Pacers reacts as he dunks between Carmelo Anthony #7 and Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Crypto.com Arena on January 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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As the Ben Simmons trade talks continue, the Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly discussed potential deals with a number of teams.

Two of them include the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors, per The Athletic's Shams Charania and Sam Amick, who noted that "Indiana's Domantas Sabonis and Toronto's Pascal Siakam" have come up in talks but "organizationally they have felt that those players were not championship-altering, perfect fits on the roster" in Philadelphia.

Sabonis, 25, would make exactly zero sense for the Sixers in a trade unless he was rerouted to a different city in a multi-team deal. Like MVP candidate Joel Embiid, Sabonis plays the center position and doesn't offer much in the way of floor spacing, shooting 32.7 percent from three. 

While he's undoubtedly a good player (19.0 PPG, 11.9 RPG), he'd be a terrible fit next to Embiid, creating many of the same floor-spacing issues that Simmons has caused or Al Horford did in the past. 

In a multi-team deal, however, he may help the Sixers bring aboard a player who fits better. 

Siakam would be a questionable fit as well and would only make sense if the team also dealt Tobias Harris to make room at the 4. The 27-year-old is averaging 21.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from three. 

His ability to create his own shot would be an upgrade over Harris and every other current Sixer not named Embiid, but his career struggles from three (32.5 percent) could cause some floor-spacing issues in Philly. 

Granted, Siakam would be a far better fit than Sabonis and arguably a better one than Simmons, though the latter's playmaking has always made the Sixers a dangerous transition team. 

But unless the Sixers were also able to unload Harris at the Feb. 10 trade deadline—a tricky proposition given that he's due around $76 million over the next two seasons, a number far exceeding his production—the Siakam fit would be wonky at best.

Philly lacks high-end playmaking and a perimeter player capable of consistently creating his own shot in crunch time. Embiid has played to an incredibly high level thus far this season, carrying the offense, but come the postseason, defenses will shrink around him and force the other Sixers to carry a bigger offensive load. 

Finding a player who can consistently take advantage of those opportunities, namely from the guard position, makes the most sense in the quest to replace Simmons. Those players come at a premium, of course, and it may take the Sixers into the summer to potentially land one.