NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Ben Simmons, Pascal Siakam, Goran DragicAugust 6, 2021
NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Ben Simmons, Pascal Siakam, Goran Dragic
The NBA free agency period officially started on Monday, Aug. 2, giving organizations the chance to acquire players and make meaningful trades.
This has already been an eventful offseason for many teams. The Los Angeles Lakers have made a host of noteworthy moves to increase their chances of returning to the NBA Finals after an unexpected first-round exit this year. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls have emerged as a team to watch in the Eastern Conference as they added Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan.
Although transactions have slowed down as the week comes to a close, there are still some notable names available such as Reggie Jackson and Kawhi Leonard. Fans may not see the two-time finals MVP return to the court until sometime next year due to his recent surgery on his right knee. But it’s still unclear what team he will suit up for with reports suggesting he will re-sign.
Leonard is the biggest free agent remaining on the market. However, there are bigger question marks around Ben Simmons’ status with Philadelphia and Lauri Markkanen’s next destination.
Ben Simmons Could Be Open to Move to Golden State
There have been swirling around Ben Simmons since the Atlanta Hawks ousted the Sixers in the semifinals. Although the team initially seemed committed to making it work with the all-star forward, the relationship has gotten tense.
Recently, KRON4's Jason Dumas reported that Simmons "cut off communications" with the organization, leaving it to negotiate with his agent, Rich Paul. He later elaborated on the situation and his preferred destination on 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast."
"The situation is getting worse by the day with Ben in Philly," Dumas said. "It's a marriage that's beyond repair at this point. He doesn't want to go to a bad situation. He's reading the tea leaves like everyone else. He sees [the] Toronto [Raptors], he sees [the] Portland [Trail Blazers]. And Ben -- just to be frank, the young socialite that he is -- he's not really trying to go to any of those situations. He's open to the California teams is what I've been told.”
This makes Golden State an ideal landing spot for the Aussie. The Lakers don’t have the cap space to sign him and the Clippers are likely trying to secure Leonard for the foreseeable future.
The Warriors give him a chance to potentially compete for a team that has a conducive locker room and winning pedigree.
More importantly, the 25-year-old fits their style of play perfectly as a swingman Steve Kerr can run the offense through. It would be a great way to play off of his strengths as a playmaker and conceal his weaknesses as a shooter.
Time will tell how this offseason will pan out for Simmons. If one thing is for sure, it looks like he won’t be in Philadelphia for much longer.
The Kings Show Interest in Pascal Siakam
The Raptors are heading for a rebuild as Kyle Lowry heads down to Miami. Now, it seems like Toronto could plan to trade one of their top assets, Pascal Siakam.
This would be a curious move for the team because the 2019 Most Improved Player of the Year just signed a four-year deal last season. Nevertheless, Sam Amick of The Athletic noted that Sacramento has expressed interest in him on the Deuce & Mo Podcast.
“The Kings definitely have interest and seem to have been somewhat … waiting for clarity about to what degree the Raptors legitimately were willing to move Pascal. I don’t get the sense that they knew, or know, for sure and that’s pretty recent insight that I’ve been hearing. They would like a crack at him, but it’s just a matter of what that looks like … but that is certainly a name you hear with the Kings a lot.”
It’s going to be difficult for Toronto to unload Siakam’s massive $136 million contract. Although the club didn’t make the playoffs, the Cameroonian forward had a solid season, averaging 21.4 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. Still, that’s a hefty cap for most teams.
Siakam would improve the Kings’ post presence but this move wouldn’t give them much leg room if they play to re-sign Tyrese Haliburton down the road. It also wouldn’t address the team’s lack of scoring at the shooting guard position if they trade Buddy Hield.
Goran Dragic Could End Up in Dallas
Speaking of the Raptors, their latest acquisition, Goran Dragic, could be on the move again.
Toronto secured the 35-year-old in the sign-and-trade deal, which sent Kyle Lowry to Miami. However, the move may not be permanent as many teams have expressed interest in the veteran point guard.
On a recent episode of Brian Windhorst and the Hoop Collective Podcast, ESPN's Marc J. Spears stated that Dragic's "first choice" is the Dallas Mavericks.
Dragic also showed some excitement about the prospect of playing for the Mavs during an interview with Slovenian reporter Matej Podgoršek of Planet TV.
“Maybe I would really end my career together with Luka Doncic in a Dallas Mavericks jersey," he said. "But these are all guesses now. I still don’t know where I’m going to play. But I definitely want to play with him someday.” (h/t Matt Galatzan of 105.3 The Fan)
A pairing with Doncic could be a good fit for Dallas next season, but the Pelicans have also expressed interest in him. New Orleans could certainly use him as a replacement for Lonzo Ball, who just made the jump to Chicago.