NBA Trade Rumors: Sixers' Asking Price for Ben Simmons, Buddy Hield and MoreAugust 3, 2021
NBA Trade Rumors: Sixers' Asking Price for Ben Simmons, Buddy Hield and More
The NBA's 2021 free-agency period opened with a series of bangs on Monday, reshaping the basketball landscape while sending Kyle Lowry to South Beach and Lonzo Ball to the Windy City. Meanwhile, a bunch of incumbents signed major money deals to stay put, including Chris Paul in Phoenix, Mike Conley in Utah and Tim Hardaway Jr. in Dallas.
The swift and sizable movements of the market have considerably lowered the water levels in the player pool, but they haven't stopped the buzz from...well, buzzing.
Teams and reporters are still talking trades, in fact, so let's dissect those discussions.
Sixers Set Steep Asking Price on Ben Simmons
The Philadelphia 76ers have a message for anyone hoping to poach Ben Simmons on the cheap after his playoff collapse: It's not happening.
"Multiple league sources maintain that Philly's asking price for Ben Simmons on the eve of free agency remains sky-high," The Athletic's David Aldridge reported. "At minimum, the Sixers are seeking control of at least four future first-round picks via direct trade or pick swaps, along with an All-Star-level player in most (but not all) scenarios."
Given how brutal Simmons looked at the end of Philly's postseason run, this might go down as the team trying to trade for him 125 cents on the dollar.
Having said that, the playoff performance didn't change the fact that he's a 25-year-old three-time All-Star who's an elite defender, an electric finisher and a smart table-setter. He's also signed through 2024-25, so there's no real pressure to move him quickly.
Philly's trade demand indicates one of two things: Either the Sixers have no serious interest in letting him go, or they think highly enough of him as an asset to believe someone will meet (or at least approach) their desired return.
Lakers Planned to Add Buddy Hield Before Russell Westbrook Became Available
With five players under contract for next season and a desire to maximize the remaining championship window around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers were always likely to make a splash this summer.
They ultimately did just that by landing Russell Westbrook, but they nearly went a different direction with their backcourt before that deal came about.
The Lakers and Sacramento Kings had worked on a Buddy Hield trade "for weeks," per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. L.A. needed Montrezl Harrell to pick up his $9.7 million player option to make the deal work, and if that happened, the Lakers "intended to move forward with the deal."
Before the Lakers got word from Harrell, though, they got a phone call from the Washington Wizards about Westbrook. The Long Beach, California native wasn't anxious to get out of D.C. but was open to the idea of going championship-chasing back in Cali and had discussed a potential partnership with James and Davis.
Once the Lakers' stars signed off on the swap, it was Westbrook—not Hield—coming to Hollywood. It makes for a fascinating fit in L.A. and a subplot to follow in Sacramento, as Hield and the Kings may not be long for one another.
Mavericks May Target Goran Dragic
The Dallas Mavericks are in the market for another shot-creator to lighten the load carried by 22-year-old centerpiece Luka Doncic.
They might find what they're looking for in Doncic's countryman Goran Dragic.
The Dragon was uprooted out of Miami in the Heat's sign-and-trade deal for Kyle Lowry, but he doesn't seem keen on heading up North.
Sportsnet's Michael Grange reported the 35-year-old's "first choice" would be going to Dallas. Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press added that a source said Dragic would "obviously" have interest teaming up with Doncic—and former Slovenia national coach Igor Kokoskov—on the Mavericks.
And HoopsHype's Michael Scotto reported a belief around the league the Mavericks "will consider trading" for Dragic.
Assuming the price is right, this feels like a no-brainer for Dallas. The franchise should be laser-focused on bringing the best out of Doncic, and Dragic should make him more comfortable on and off the court.