Latest On Ben Simmons

Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon are two players widely viewed as potential fits for the Sixers in a Ben Simmons deal, but no trade scenarios involving either player have gained real traction with Philadelphia so far, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (video link).

According to Charania, the Sixers asked the Trail Blazers for a package that included three first-round picks and three pick swaps, which Portland rejected. While Charania’s wording isn’t entirely clear, it sounds like Philadelphia requested all those draft assets in addition to McCollum, so it’s not surprising that the Blazers weren’t interested.

As has been reported repeatedly throughout the offseason, the Sixers’ dream scenario would be to trade Simmons to the Blazers in a deal involving Damian Lillard, but the Oakland native never asked to be dealt and Portland has zero interest in moving him unless that happens. “You’re waiting on a prayer,” one source said to Sam Amick of The Athletic, referring to Philadelphia’s desire to land Lillard.

According to Amick, there has been some chatter around the league about the possibility of the Sixers and Blazers working out a Simmons deal for a package that includes McCollum and Robert Covington, plus draft assets, but the two sides don’t appear anywhere close.

Here’s more on Simmons:

  • The Sixers’ front office, head coach Doc Rivers, and agent Rich Paul have continued to discuss the idea of Simmons ending his holdout and reporting to the team, but the three-time All-Star remains “resistant” to that idea, according to Charania.
  • Charania says Simmons has clearly “mentally checked out” from the Sixers and even if he were to report to the team, it would be with “short-term intentions.” A source who spoke to Amick said essentially the same thing: “Even if (Simmons) shows up, I think there’s no chance of him ever mentally being back in Philly.” Simmons has packed up his belongings from his Philadelphia home, per Charania.
  • David Aldridge of The Athletic believes the Kings make sense as a trade partner for Simmons and has heard the 25-year-old would have no problem going to Sacramento. However, sources have told Amick that the Kings want to see what their current group looks like in the regular season and haven’t seriously revisited the possibility of a Simmons trade since speaking to the 76ers months ago.
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