NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Potential Ben Simmons Trade, Warriors and More
It's been seven weeks since the 2020-21 NBA season ended and the offseason began. And at that time, one of the biggest storylines in the league was whether Ben Simmons would be back with the Philadelphia 76ers next season.
At this point, he remains in Philadelphia. But there's been a ton of buzz surrounding the point guard's status, with reports now saying he may not report to training camp when it gets underway later this month because he wants to be traded.
Yet, still nothing has materialized and it's unclear where Simmons will be playing when the 2021-22 season gets underway on Oct. 19. And speculation is likely to continue until there's a resolution.
Here's some of the latest buzz regarding several teams that have been linked to the Australian in trade rumors this offseason.
Golden State Warriors
It's been rumored that Simmons wants to play for one of the teams in California, but it doesn't seem like it's going to be the Golden State Warriors if that's the case.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic noted talks between Golden State and Philadelphia "can't be considered dead because they've never even really been alive, multiple sources confirm." He added that when the 76ers reached out before the 2021 NBA draft, they wanted center James Wiseman, forward Andrew Wiggins and four total first-round picks, including the Warriors' top two selections this year.
Slater also reported that Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob doesn't want to part with Wiseman or rookie forward Jonathan Kuminga in any potential trades.
"League execs might view Wiseman and Kuminga as intriguing but unproven young players who sweeten the pot a bit around Wiggins' negative value contract. But [the 76ers would] be talking to a front office that collectively remains higher on both their futures than the general consensus," Slater wrote.
So, it seems Simmons may not be playing alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the Warriors' lineup anytime soon.
Of the four NBA teams in California, the Sacramento Kings had the worst record during the 2020-21 season as they missed the playoffs at 31-41. They could be the one that would most benefit from trading for Simmons, who would give them some extra star power moving forward.
However, The Athletic's Sam Amick reported that Sacramento informed Philadelphia it would not include guards De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton in any potential Simmons trade. And according to Amick, that stance "has not and will not change."
"There are no current conversations between the two teams and, barring a drastic change in demands, it appears the Kings are an unlikely landing spot for Simmons," he wrote.
Sacramento has a solid young core and appears to be heading in the right direction. So perhaps it's making the right choice in holding on to its most desirable players rather than shipping them to Philadelphia in exchange for Simmons.
As things have continued to develop, it appears there's at least one non-California team that Simmons would potentially want to play for. According to a report from Evan Dammarell of Right Down Euclid, the 25-year-old "would also be open to" going to Cleveland.
It may seem like a curious decision, considering the Cavaliers have won 22 or fewer games in each of the past three seasons and are trying to rebuild at the moment. But Dammarell noted that one Eastern Conference executive believes Simmons' friendship with Darius Garland is among a list of driving forces.
"He also wants a fresh start with a team where he is clearly the best player and he would get that treatment there. More than anything, he just wants to be wanted and appreciated," the Eastern Conference executive told Dammarell.
Like other potential suitors, the Cavs may have to give up a hefty package if they want to land Simmons. Is that something they'd be willing to do as they try to build a core for long-term success?
It will be interesting to see how this could develop in the weeks to come.