NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Ben Simmons, Goran Dragic and More

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2021

NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Ben Simmons, Goran Dragic and More

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    The bulk of the big names came and went in NBA free agency in a whirlwind of deals at the beginning of the week. 

    There have been winners and losers in the proceedings, and a lot of the questions we had heading into the NBA offseason have already been answered. However, no league does player movement in the offseason quite like the NBA, and there's still a lot of time left before the new league year starts. 

    That's where the trade market comes in to play. With some teams missing out on major free agents and some franchise players potentially disappointed in their team's moves, there are always some players and teams who are frequenting the rumor mill. 

    With major free agency already winding down, let's take a look at some of the latest buzz. 

Ben Simmons Cutting off Sixers

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    For the fourth consecutive season, the Philadelphia 76ers failed to advance beyond the Eastern Conference semifinals. It's been six years since The Process brought the duo of Simmons and Joel Embiid together in Philadelphia.

    There have always been questions about the pairing of Embiid and Simmons. Now, with another short-lived playoff run, the two sides seem destined to split more every day. The latest has Simmons reportedly cutting ties with people connected to the organization.

    "Ben Simmons has cut off communication with basically everyone in the Sixers organization," Jason Dumas of KRON4 reported. "Everything is going thru his agent, Rich Paul."

    Dumas also noted that Simmons is open to going to the Golden State Warriors, although he doesn't have much leverage. 

    The report appears to go hand-in-hand with an earlier report from Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Sixers proposed a deal that would land them Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman as well as picks No. 7 and No. 14 in the draft for the Australian star. 

    Getting such a haul for Simmons is going to be difficult. He's in Year 2 of a five-year, $177.2 million contract so any team taking him on would have to manage a massive salary cap hit while potentially giving up valuable draft assets and a proven player. 

    If Simmons and the Sixers relationship has gone completely cold it may be the spark the franchise needs to lower their asking price and actually get a deal done. 

Raptors Receiving Interest in Goran Dragic

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    A lot of times there aren't many actual assets that come back to a team in a sign-and-trade. That isn't the case with the maneuver the Toronto Raptors pulled off in sending Kyle Lowry to the Miami Heat. 

    The Raptors are getting 21-year-old forward Precious Achiuwa as well as veteran point guard Goran Dragic in the deal. 

    Now they have the decision of hanging on to the 35-year-old guard or bringing back even more young assets for him in a trade. For now, they appear to be leaning toward the former. 

    Marc Stein reported in his newsletter that the Raptors has "resisted external interest" in the veteran right now. He also notes the Dallas Mavericks are a team that has tried to acquire him. They would be pairing Dragic with fellow Slovenian Luka Doncic. 

    Whether to keep Dragic or not is a classic question between rebuilding and contending. What the team ultimately decides to do with him will be a strong indicator of how they see themselves. 

    Dragic averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 assists on 43.2 percent shooting last season so he can still help a team win games. If a deal does come to fruition it would stand to reason that it happens in the season once the Raptors get a better feel for how their team will stack up in the East. 

Minnesota Timberwolves Have Targeted Big Names

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Minnesota Timberwolves have been a surprisingly quiet team to this point in the offseason. With a 23-49 record in 2021, the team could stand to make some moves but outside of a draft-night deal to send Ricky Rubio to Cleveland and get Taurean Prince, a draft pick and cash they haven't done much of anything. 

    It isn't for a lack of trying though. 

    of The Athletic reported the T'Wolves have been busy working the phones this summer and the names they have called about include Ben Simmons, Lauri Markkanen, Danilo Gallinari and Kyle Kuzma. 

    Of those names, only Kuzma's fate has been determined. He was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Washington Wizards in the Russell Westbrook trade. 

    Krawczynski also offered some insight on trade chips the Wolves may be willing to part with. D'Angelo Russell is considered to be part of the core that includes Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. He also noted that Jayden McDaniels, "is the young player every team is asking for in significant trades."

    They may be hesitant to part with a young player they could see fitting the timeline of contention with Edwards. Although Towns has been in Minnesota long enough they may finally feel pressure to build a winner around him. 

    If you're looking for a surprise team who might take a big swing on someone like Simmons the T'Wolves could be a sneaky candidate.