Pistons forward Jerami Grant is one of the players on the Sixers‘ list of targets for a potential Ben Simmons trade, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pompey also confirms Sam Amick’s report that James Harden is on Philadelphia’s list.
Amick reported on Thursday that the 76ers have a list of about 30 impact players whom they view as possible targets in a Simmons trade. Philadelphia believes several of those players could become available via trade within the next year or two, which is why the front office remains in no rush to resolve the Simmons situation. Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal are among the other stars on the club’s radar.
According to Pompey, the Sixers have engaged in discussions with the Pistons about the possibility of trading Simmons for a package that would include Grant, another forward, a young player, and a draft pick. One source told Pompey that Kelly Olynyk and Saddiq Bey are players that could be included in a possible deal between Philadelphia and Detroit, but another source said the Pistons would be unlikely to include either Olynyk or Bey.
Although one source told Pompey that the Sixers haven’t spoken to Detroit lately and would likely want a higher-profile player than Grant as the centerpiece of a Simmons deal, multiple sources said the two teams have had recent conversations centered around Grant.
A former Sixer, Grant has taken huge strides since last playing for the team in 2016. In 67 games (33.6 MPG) since joining the Pistons a year ago, the 27-year-old has averaged 21.5 PPG and 4.6 RPG on .425/.343/.841 shooting.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report first reported last month that there was a belief the Pistons would entertain the idea of moving Grant in a deal for Simmons.
As for Harden, Pompey explains that the Sixers view the former Rocket as a possible sign-and-trade option in free agency next summer if they still haven’t dealt Simmons by that point. Harden didn’t sign an extension with the Nets prior to opening night last month and can opt out of his contract in 2022.
Harden has spoken about wanting to remain in Brooklyn for the rest of his career, so his decision to forgo an extension may have been more about trying to maximize his future earnings than about keeping his options open to jump ship. Still, it’s not inconceivable that he could consider other suitors as a free agent next summer if the Nets underachieve this season. Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is obviously very familiar with Harden due to their time spent together in Houston.
Harden is off to a slower-than-expected start this season, but is still putting up 20.3 PPG, 8.8 APG, and 7.6 RPG with a .395 3PT% through 16 games (34.4 MPG).