David Aldridge, John Hollinger, and Sam Amick of The Athletic, participating in a roundtable discussion on Ben Simmons, all say they believe the Sixers are more likely than not to move the three-time All-Star by the February 10 trade deadline. Over the weekend, big man Joel Embiid publicly backed the idea of the team waiting as long as it needs to maximize the return for Simmons, but Amick says people in Simmons’ camp are unconvinced that Embiid is willing to be as patient as he claims.
“Joel is Daryl (Morey), and Daryl is Joel,” one source told The Athletic, suggesting both the Sixers’ star center and president of basketball operations could be posturing to increase the team’s leverage.
Amick, adding some extra details to his previous reporting on Simmons and the Kings, says the Sixers’ point guard appears to be “front and center” in Sacramento’s deadline plans, ahead of Domantas Sabonis.
Amick also reiterates that the Kings appear to be seriously considering the idea of acquiring Tobias Harris along with Simmons, though he suggests that Philadelphia would likely push for more than De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Harrison Barnes in exchange for that duo. For what it’s worth, sources tell Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com that the Kings have done due diligence on Simmons, Harris, and Sixers forward Matisse Thybulle.
Unlike Sacramento, the Hawks appear to have “zero interest” in taking on Harris along with Simmons in a John Collins-centric trade, says Amick.
Here are a few more trade rumors from around the league:
- Although the Trail Blazers may be sellers in the short term, the team would still like to land an impact player to pair with Damian Lillard for when he gets healthy, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, who hears that Jaylen Brown and Jerami Grant are among the potential targets on Portland’s radar. The Blazers were believed to be interested in Myles Turner, and if they’re focused more on 2022/23 than this season, the Pacers‘ center could still be an option worth pursuing, Amick notes.
- There’s plenty of chatter around the league about the Rockets being even more willing to make deadline deals than previously believed, per Amick. Houston remains on the lookout for a potential franchise player and is open to “all sorts of possibilities,” one rival executive tells The Athletic.
- Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times confirm that the Lakers are shopping Talen Horton-Tucker in trade discussions. Rival teams believe L.A. still values the young guard, but his $9.5MM salary makes him one of the club’s only real trade chips.
- The Jazz continue to scout the market in search of an upgrade on the wing, particularly on defense, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “They’re seeing if they can find their own Aaron Gordon trade,” one general manager told ESPN, referring to Denver’s acquisition of Gordon last March. “I’m not sure if they’ll find it.” While the Jazz are said to be interested in Jerami Grant, their ability to make a strong offer is limited by the fact that they’ve already traded away two future first-round picks and don’t have the sort of promising young prospects who could headline a package.