PHILADELPHIA — Ben Simmons‘ future remains one of the more pressing storylines of the NBA offseason and while migrating out of Philadelphia may be best for the former No. 1 overall pick, the front office isn’t going just move him for the sake of it. The Sixers are looking for an All-Star back in exchange for Simmons and waiting out the market may be the best way to accomplish that goal.
There were previous reports indicating that team president Daryl Morey was waiting on the Damian Lillard situation to play itself out. Landing Lillard would be a win for Philadelphia in that they are able to move on from the Simmons-Joel Embiid pairing and bring in a star that would arguably further raise the club’s ceiling.
Yet, a recent report by The Athletic’s Sam Amick has the Heat, Raptors, and Wizards as some of the most likely landing spots for Simmons.
Toronto has expressed interest in Simmons and according to Matt Moore of The Action Network, the two sides have had discussions about a trade with the Sixers requesting Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 draft in exchange for Simmons. That offer was rejected, though according to our own Landon Buford, trade discussions between the two franchises are continuing.
The Raptors make sense as a suitor, more so than the Heat or the Wizards, even if eventually Toronto’s package of players is sent elsewhere as a part of a three-team trade (perhaps to Portland as part of a Lillard-to-Philly deal). Miami simply doesn’t have the assets to compete for Simmons unless it’s for Jimmy Butler, which seems unlikely given how the former Sixer fits like a glove in Miami’s work-ethic-heavy culture. Simmons in Washington would feasibly only happen in the event of a Bradley Beal trade, something that sources tell FortyEightMinutes is unlikely at this time.
Toronto, Washington, and Miami are not the only possible destinations in a Simmons deal. The Blazers could certainly net the former No. 1 overall pick if they end up dealing Lillard. The Pacers, Cavs, Kings, and Timberwolves have all been linked to the 25-year-old. One thing we know for sure is that the Sixers won’t rush to find a trade partner even if seeing Simmons in another uniform at some point has been deemed “inevitable.”