What should the Sixers do with Ben Simmons?
The team continues to contemplate whether to trade Simmons now or hold out for the potential of a better deal later in the summer where a rival star may become available (such as Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, or James Harden).
Waiting may come with a higher reward but it also comes with “sacrificing” a year of Joel Embiid‘s prime. Putting aside the argument of whether “sacrificing” a year is actually problematic, let’s examine the middle ground here between holding Simmons and landing an All-Star player before the trade deadline: making a trade that positions the team to land a star in the future. The Kings’ latest framework may indeed acheive that.
Sacramento is pondering a deal that sends Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes, and two first-round picks to Philadelphia for Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Matisse Thybulle (per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer).
Haliburton is the kind of blue-chip player who could be the centerpiece in a subsequential trade for a star; he could also help the Sixers win now. He’s shooting 41.7 percent from three over his first 101 games in the league and he would be an intriguing fit next to Maxey in the backcourt or even as a replacement in the starting lineup. Adding Hield and Barnes (even at the expense of Harris and Thybulle) gives the Sixers an ability to put a full platoon of above-average long-range shooters around Joel Embiid (the Haliburton-Seth Curry-Hield-Barnes-Embiid lineup gives me 2008-09 Orlando Magic vibes).
I’d expect Morey to bargain for more than the two first-rounders if such a deal would come to fruition over the next few weeks—even if one of the picks comes with heavier protections.
Sacramento has some urgency here. They have a roster full of assets, that together, don’t equate to a playoff team (something they have been longing to be). I can’t imagine Kings’ ownership scoffing at including another first-rounder when the result would be a franchise player and in all-likeliness, a chance to rise to the play-in tournament this spring. All eyes will be on the Kings whether it be for one night, two nights (by advancing in the play-in), or even two weeks (if they can actually get to the first-round). What’s the real cost of another pick compared to being the storyline of the NBA for
Sacramento makes the most sense as an in-season Ben Simmons destination if they are putting Haliburton on the table and if Morey squeezes for more, it’s hard to envision the Kings resisting. You overpay to get a star in the league; Sacramento is about to pull out the bags of money.
Latest on Beal
Beal has reasons why signing a contract extension right now doesn’t make sense and those are financial reasons. By waiting until the offseason waits to re-sign with Washington, his projected max would be about $242 million over five years (compared to $181 million over four years with the extension now).
The status quo remains despite Beal not signing a contract extension: the front office isn’t trading the star unless he requests it. Surely the Sixers are aware, which makes waiting on a Simmons deal even riskier with one less start likely to be unavailable this summer.
More on the NBA