Ben Simmons might be an All-Star, but the Philadelphia 76ers are treating him like a Hall of Fame talent as they dangle him on the trade market.
Simmons has been the subject of ample NBA trade rumors this offseason. He is one of the big-name players most around the league feel will almost definitely be traded before the start of the 2021-22 season. Yet, the Sixers’ own valuation of Simmons has been ludicrous thus far, and nothing appears to be changing on that front.
In fact, one executive recently suggested Philly wants the same return for Simmons as the Boston Celtics got when they traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013.
Multiple teams have reportedly rebuffed the Sixers’ asking price for Simmons
Teams around the league are expressing interest in Simmons, but some of the reported asking prices for his services are nothing short of insane.
The Toronto Raptors engaged the Sixers in trade talks for Simmons. However, the discussions fell apart when the Sixers reportedly constructed a framework involving Kyle Lowry, Fred Van Vleet, OG Anunoby, and the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft in exchange for Simmons.
That’s far from the only bananas ask from the Sixers. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the Golden State Warriors rejected the Sixers’ offer of Simmons for Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, and four first-round picks. A league executive told Pompey the Sixers were making “totally outlandish” trade offers in canvassing interested parties.
One might have assumed the Sixers would try to obtain something similar to what the Houston Rockets got for James Harden. Instead, they are apparently hoping to replicate a return akin to one of the wildest trades in NBA history.
Sixers rumored to want same return as Boston Celtics got in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce trade in 2013
The Brooklyn Nets made perhaps the worst trade in NBA history on draft night in 2013.
Brooklyn sent a trio of first-round picks and a pick swap (plus player filler) to the Celtics in exchange for Garnett, Pierce, and Jason Terry, all veteran players who were well past their respective prime years. The trade backfired, as the picks would convert to multiple high draft choices, including the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. In essence, the deal allowed the C’s the chance to draft Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who successfully helped the team rebuild.
The draft capital in that trade is notable regarding Ben Simmons’ trade value, particularly considering the deal the Sixers reportedly offered the Warriors. Indeed, one executive told Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix that he believes Philly wants a similar construct.
“Forget a [James] Harden haul,” the exec told Mannix. “They want what Boston got for KG and Pierce.”
There are some differences, of course. Whereas Garnett and Pierce especially were entering the twilight of their careers, Simmons is only 25 years old and is one of the best defenders and playmakers in the NBA.
Still, Simmons’ drawbacks make it unlikely any team will part with sizable draft capital to acquire him in a trade.
Daryl Morey could be selling high for a specific reason
Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey isn’t a fool. He likely has his reasons for setting Simmons’ trade value in the stratosphere.
For one, an aggressive general manager may bite the bullet and pay an extremely high asking price. The more likely scenario, though, is Morey using these offers as a means of biding his time in case something develops down the road.
A previous note noted that the Sixers might choose to keep Simmons and wait to see how Damian Lillard’s situation develops in Portland. Lillard has yet to request a trade from the Trail Blazers, but the Sixers might use Simmons in the framework of a Lillard deal should Dame eventually want out.
The Sixers appear to get a star in a Ben Simmons trade. Otherwise, Morey will keep pursuing egregious returns.