The NBA trade deadline is less than a month away, and one name that has popped up recently as being potentially available in trade talks is Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox. The Kings have received a lot of interest in Fox in recent days, and one team that has reached out to Sacramento is the Philadelphia 76ers, who also have a big-name player that they’re actively shopping in Ben Simmons. Simmons has yet to play in a game for the Sixers this season after requesting a trade over the summer.
The Sixers and Kings recently discussed a trade involving Simmons and Fox in an exploratory manner, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. However, fans in Philadelphia hoping to see Fox playing alongside All-Star center Joel Embiid need to pump the brakes, as the Sixers have no interest in Fox as the centerpiece in a trade for Simmons, according to a league source with direct knowledge of the team’s thinking. The Sixers could potentially acquire Fox as part of a larger deal, but in that scenario, he would be rerouted to a different team. In other words, don’t expect to see Fox in a Sixers uniform in the near future.
Philadelphia’s affinity for second-year guard Tyrese Maxey is certainly part of the reason that the team isn’t interested in Fox. Maxey and Fox have similar skillsets, and Maxey is several years younger than Fox and on a much more manageable contract currently. Plus, Maxey is shooting 38 percent from 3-point range this season, which is a better percentage than Fox has ever shot over the course of a season. Ultimately, Maxey could potentially even pass Fox as an overall player.
While Fox’s NBA future likely won’t be in Philadelphia, it also might not be in Sacramento, either. The Kings, who haven’t made the postseason since 2006, are again outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference this season, so shaking things up would probably make sense for the organization. Fox is well aware of this.
“You definitely think about potentially being traded because we are struggling,” Fox said recently, via Yahoo. “If you do have a change of scenery, it changes everything. I’ve been here for five years. I’ve built a life here, a family here. But once I’m on the court, all that is out the window. You’re not thinking about anything else that can happen outside of your control.
“But I’ve been through some deadlines. I’ve seen people get traded at the last second. You try not to think about it, but you know it’s a business and anything can happen. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Obviously, you see reports on Twitter. Am I worried about it? No. Can it happen? Yeah, it can definitely happen.”
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Just because the Sixers aren’t interested in Fox doesn’t mean that other teams aren’t. Fox has already been in the league for five years, but he’s still just 24 years old, and in turn, still has a very high ceiling as a player. He averaged 25 points and seven assists per game last season, and though those numbers are down this season, there’s no reason to think that Fox couldn’t thrive in the proper situation.