NBA Rumors: Latest on Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving Trade Buzz and Cam Reddish
We're roughly a week into the 2021-22 NBA season, and we've already seen a few surprises. The Los Angeles Lakers, for example, have stumbled to a 1-2 opening record. The Chicago Bulls, meanwhile, are 4-0 for the first time since the mid-90s.
What's not surprising is the fact that trade buzz continues to surround two players who haven't suited up—Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving.
Irving has been sidelined by the Brooklyn Nets until he complies with York City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Simmons returned from his holdout before the season but has since stepped away. Both players, though, could potentially be on the move at some point.
Here, we'll dive into the latest buzz surrounding these two and more.
76ers No Longer Fining Simmons for Absence
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons has told the 76ers that he "wasn't mentally ready to play to his expectations and needed time to step away."
While Philadelphia was initially fining Simmons for his absence, that is no longer the case.
As reported by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and confirmed by MBA insider Marc Stein, the 76ers have stopped fining Simmons, as he has cited mental health as the reason for his absence. The 76ers have "taken that in good faith," Shelburne said on NBA Today (h/t Talkin' NBA), and will give Simmons the opportunity and the resources to work on himself mentally and physically.
Simmons could still be traded this season, and according to Stein (h/t Bleacher Report's Bryan Toporek), Philadelphia is likely to wait until December to seriously consider moving Simmons.
"League sources concur that no Simmons trade is imminent and that Morey is likely to wait until after Dec. 15, when more players are eligible to be dealt leaguewide before he pursues a deal with greater intent."
For now, Simmons will be given the time and the space he needs for self-care.
Nets Taking Calls on Irving, Not Making Them
Irving has been away from the Nets because he doesn't comply with New York's vaccine mandate. He would still be eligible to play in most away games, but Brooklyn has instead decided to sit Irving for the time being.
Irving also won't be offered a contract extension by Brooklyn, something Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on The Glue Guys podcast.
However, the Nets are not actively shopping Irving, but they have taken calls.
"Brooklyn, I’m told, has taken incoming calls from teams on Kyrie Irving. They have not themselves made any calls on Kyrie Irving," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on NBA Countdown.
This meshes with an earlier report from NBA insider Jordan Schultz,
"Sources: Multiple teams continue reaching out to the Nets regarding a potential Kyrie Irving trade," Schultz tweeted. "Brooklyn, however, is 'clearly sitting tight' right now, as one WC executive tells me. In other words, even if the Nets were to move Irving, it wouldn't be anytime soon."
As is the case with Simmons, we're not likely to see Irving on the move in the near future.
Teams Monitoring Cam Reddish
Atlanta Hawks forward Cam Reddish hasn't been the rumor-mill fixture that Simmons and Irving have been. However, he's potentially been available via trade dating back to last season, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
"Reddish was available on the trade market at the trade deadline and around the draft, multiple NBA executives told HoopsHype," Scotto wrote. "Heading into the season, rival executives are monitoring his availability."
The question is which teams would be willing to acquire Reddish and at what price. The 22-year-old hasn't reached an All-Star level yet, but he has an intriguing amount of upside.
"He fits the mold that teams have a need for right now," one executive said, per Scotto. "He's a 6-foot-8 athletic and versatile player that can make shots. He can create with the ball. He's got the skillset tools and size. Right now, he doesn't have a good sample size of being consistent. It's just been flashes."
This season, Reddish has averaged 25.3 minutes and 18.7 points while shooting 44.2 percent from the floor and 56.3 percent from three-point range. We're only three games in, but if Reddish can consistently play near this level, he's going to be in demand.