NBA Rumors: Buzz on Possible Ben Simmons Trade, Dennis Schroder and More
It's been a wild and eventful week around the NBA. And that's exactly what everybody expected, considering teams could begin agreeing to deals with free agents on Monday evening.
Although those contracts won't become official until Friday at 12:01 p.m. ET, this stretch is typically one of the most exciting portions of the offseason. A lot of big names are switching teams ahead of the 2021-22 season, and trade speculation continues to abound.
Even though it's been a newsworthy week with plenty of free agents coming off the board, there are still talented players available on the market. So don't expect the news to slow down quite yet.
Here's some of the latest buzz from around the NBA as the week continues.
Could Simmons Still Be with the 76ers When New Season Begins?
There's been a ton of speculation about where Ben Simmons will be traded since the offseason began. As it turns out, he could begin the 2021-22 season back in Philadelphia after all.
On Monday, The Athletic's David Aldridge reported that the 76ers' asking price for the 25-year-old was still "sky-high," as they were looking to acquire a minimum return 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."
Apparently, no teams have been willing to part with that type of package yet, because Simmons remains on Philadelphia's roster. And according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, that may not change anytime soon. But the 76ers may be just fine with that.
"The Sixers are open to bringing Ben Simmons back and I think they prefer that," she told ESPN's The Jump on Tuesday.
Simmons, a three-time All-Star point guard, has played well for much of his four seasons in Philadelphia. But earlier this year, he struggled in the 76ers' second-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, which they lost in seven games.
Although things may now be trending toward Simmons staying in Philadelphia, it's always possible that a trade still gets completed, especially if the 76ers lower their asking price.
Knicks Appear to Still Be Interested in Schroder
Although the New York Knicks are bringing back veteran Derrick Rose on a three-year, $43 million deal (per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski), it appears they're still looking to add a point guard this offseason. And one of the rumored names shouldn't come as a surprise.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks continue to have interest in Dennis Schroder, who is one of the top point guards still available on the free-agent market. However, Schroder had been seeking a deal starting at $25 million, per Berman, so he may come at a high cost.
The German, 27, is an unrestricted free agent after spending last season with the Los Angeles Lakers. He continues to play at a high level, as he averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 assists in 61 games during the 2020-21 campaign.
As New York seeks another point guard, Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina, both of whom played for the Knicks last season, are still available.
Berman reported that the team reached out to Payton at the start of the week, "but it's unclear if they had real interest in him as a fallback." Ntilikina has spent his first four NBA seasons with the Knicks, but he could soon be on the move for the first time.
Spurs Named as a 'Potential Suitor' for Marrkanen
Much of the talk surrounding the Chicago Bulls this week has been about the new players they're bringing in. Per Wojnarowski, the Bulls have signed point guard Lonzo Ball, acquired shooting guard DeMar DeRozan in a sign-and-trade and bolstered their bench with the addition of point guard Alex Caruso.
But Chicago could soon be losing a player who was a key member of its rotation the past four seasons. And there's been quite a bit of speculation around where he might go.
According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the San Antonio Spurs are being "mentioned often as a potential suitor" for Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen, who is a restricted free agent. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype had previously reported that Chicago and the Finn are "open to a sign-and-trade deal."
It's not a sure thing that the 24-year-old could be going to San Antonio, though. Scotto reported that the Oklahoma City Thunder also have had the player on their radar, while the Minnesota Timberwolves are also "one team to keep an eye on."
Markkanen averaged 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 51 games for the Bulls last season while shooting a career-best 48 percent from the field.