NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Ben Simmons, DeMar DeRozan and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2021

NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Ben Simmons, DeMar DeRozan and More

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    NBA free agency unofficially begins on Monday at 6 p.m. ET, when teams can begin negotiating with players. Deals cannot become official until August 6, but we can expect agreements to flood the news wire in just a couple of days.

    This has already been occurring with the trade market, as multiple deals have come through before, during and since Thursday night's draft. Arguably the most notable was the Washington Wizards agreement to send Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers—though Westbrook wasn't the first option L.A. considered, and we'll get into that.

    One of the biggest names who haven't been moved is Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons, and we'll get into his situation too.

    Let's dig into all the latest NBA trade buzz with free agency rapidly approaching.

76ers Have a Timeline for Ben Simmons

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    The 76ers are willing to move Simmons, but they're not going to do so on a bargain-basement deal. That's understandable, but Philadelphia's expectations may be a bit unrealistic. The Golden State Warriors, for example, quickly balked at Philly's proposal.

    "The Sixers asked for Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, the Nos. 7 and 14 picks in tonight's NBA draft along with two future first-rounders in exchange for Ben Simmons, according to multiple sources. The Warriors quickly turned down the offer," Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Enquirer wrote.

    As the offseason moves on, the Sixers seem to be upping their asking price instead of lowering it.

    "To this point, the Sixers have shown no interest in settling. Leaks around the league line up with that thinking, each reported offer from Philly's end over the last few weeks more ambitious than the last," Kyle Neubeck of the Philadelphia Voice wrote.

    However, Philadelphia does appear to have a timeline in mind for dealing Simmons. This could eventually lead to the 76ers dropping their demands some, though perhaps not considerably.

    "Whatever they get back for him, they've got to believe it continues to make them a championship contender. But they'd like to get a deal done before training camp," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on Get Up!.

    Training camps are scheduled to begin on September 28, which means Philly probably isn't in a rush to make a trade happen.

Lakers Eyed DeMar DeRozan Before Westbrook Trade

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    Brandon Dill/Associated Press

    The Lakers will be happy to have Russell Westbrook on the roster in 2021-22. Even if he can't solve every issue on the roster, he will provide a third high-end scoring option alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

    However, Westbrook wasn't necessarily the Lakers' first choice. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, James had spoken to pending free agent DeMar DeRozan about the possibility of acquiring him via sign-and-trade.

    "San Antonio Spurs unrestricted free agent DeMar DeRozan was in talks with James, sources said, but the Westbrook deal eliminated that option because it would have required a sign-and-trade scenario and a Kuzma inclusion," Haynes wrote.

    While a sign-and-trade involving DeRozan is now effectively off the table, Haynes stated that "the Lakers are not done making moves."

    Taking a reduced salary to join L.A. could be an option for DeRozan.

    "Multiple league personnel contacted by B/R expect there to be significant interest from several veterans, including DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay and Carmelo Anthony, to forgo higher salary opportunities elsewhere and join the Lakers in pursuit of a championship," Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer wrote.

    While Los Angeles may be done making headline-grabbing trades—or at least close to it—they're almost certainly not finished retooling the roster for the 2021-22 season.

Kris Dunn Could Be on the Move Again

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    Though it hasn't garnered as much attention as the Westbrook deal, the three-team trade between the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings is significant.

    According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t NBA.com), the Hawks will receive Deion Wright and the Kings will get Tristan Thompson, while the Celtics will receive Kris Dunn, Bruno Fernando and a 2023 second-round pick.

    While the Celtics may hang onto Fernando and the pick, Dunn could again be on the move before he even lands in Boston.

    "Kris Dunn would provide some backcourt depth for the Celtics but I've been hearing tonight that Boston could look to move him in a separate deal," Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe tweeted.

    Dunn appeared in only four games this past season, undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle in December.

    In a separate deal, the Celtics acquired guard/forward Josh Richardson from the Dallas Mavericks, according to ESPN's Tim Bontemps. Richardson has a player option and will exercise it as part of the deal, per Bontemps.

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