The Ben Simmons situation in Philadelphia continues and the Cavaliers remain in pursuit of the star. It’s fair to wonder what kind of package Cleveland could offer Philly if Daryl Morey & Co. back off their demands of an All-Star in return.
Any trade that sends Simmons to the Cavs would theoretically center around Collin Sexton or Darius Garland (assuming the two sides don’t bring in another third team to complete the deal).
Sexton would be the more ready-now option, as Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice explains. Sexton, who has made 38.5 percent of his career three-pointers, thrives in catch-and-shoot situations, which should pair well with Joel Embiid. However, the former Alabama guard is not without his warts as his decision-making as a play-maker has reportedly been a source of frustration within the Cavaliers’ locker room.
Sexton is just 22 years old and he’s never really played alongside a ball-dominant star. There’s no doubt his game would change alongside Embiid and his fit along Maxey is somewhat intriguing (assuming Maxey remains in Philadelphia).
Another potential hurdle is Sexton’s looming payday. He’s eligible for an extension and it’s looking unlikely that Cleveland will come to terms with him on it. There were rumblings that Sexton’s camp was seeking a lucrative contract, which reportedly scared some teams away from trading for him.
It’s worth noting that there’s been some recent speculation that Lauri Markkanen could be part of a Simmons deal if the star isn’t dealt before October 27 (when Markkanen is eligible to be traded). Markkanen and Sexton would provide Philly with pieces that fit well around Embiid, though neither really possess the kind of multi-year All-Star potential that Simmons has already flashed. Yet, if Philly decides to ditch the lofty Damian Lillard/Bradley Beal/other star expectations and optimize the team around Embiid based on what’s available, the Cavs have two pieces that should be able to help them in the win column.
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The NBA could insert itself into the situation in Philadelphia if the Sixers opt not to fine Simmons for not reporting, as Bobby Marks of ESPN.com explains.