Sunday, December 5 2021

The Philadelphia 76ers say they want Ben Simmons in training camp and on the court.

For now, Simmons doesn’t want anything to do with the Sixers and does not plan on showing up when training camp begins next week.

The Sixers can withhold salary and fine him, but it appears Simmons is prepared for that scenario, too.

While both parties tussle for leverage, one factor to consider: the Sixers won’t rush into a deal, and president of basketball operations Daryl Morey won’t make a bad deal just for the sake of eliminating the issue. If he can’t get Simmons to change his mind, he wants something of value in return for a team trying to win a championship with All-Star center Joel Embiid in his prime.

If the Sixers can't convince Ben Simmons (25) to return to the team, they would be looking to trade for a player who could help All-Star center Joel Embiid deliver a title.If the Sixers can't convince Ben Simmons (25) to return to the team, they would be looking to trade for a player who could help All-Star center Joel Embiid deliver a title.

If the Sixers can’t convince Ben Simmons (25) to return to the team, they would be looking to trade for a player who could help All-Star center Joel Embiid deliver a title.

If Simmons, a three-time All-Star at 25 years old, doesn’t return to Philadelphia, where does he end up? We look at four potential landing spots, with the understanding the other team may not have the assets Morey desires in a deal.

Minnesota has been mentioned as a possible trade partner since the Simmons situation erupted after Philadelphia’s second-round loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference playoffs last season.

The Timberwolves want to become a playoff contender and adding a player like Simmons, an elite defender, passer and finisher in the open court, can help that process.

But the Timberwolves are in turmoil right now. On Wednesday just days before the start of training camp next week, Minnesota fired president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.

That complicates the Timberwolves’ pursuit of Simmons. Rosas and Morey worked together for more than a decade in Houston and have a close relationship.

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors aren’t chasing Simmons, per se, but there is the notion that Simmons could work well with Golden State as a defender and off-ball scorer alongside Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and James Wiseman. It would be a challenge for both Simmons, who would not be the primary ballhandler as he was in Philadelphia, and the Warriors. But if Warriors coach Steve Kerr could make it work, it would make Golden State a better team in a deep Western Conference. Earlier this week, Warriors owner Joe Lacob said Simmons “doesn’t really fit what we’re doing.” The NBA fined him $50,000 on Wednesday for violating the league’s anti-tampering rules.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors lost Kyle Lowry to the Miami Heat in free agency, and Toronto and Philadelphia have had discussions on a potential Simmons deal. The sticking point? The Sixers want a lot in return, and the Raptors don’t want to give up a lot. While the Sixer may have some leverage, opposing teams know Simmons doesn’t want to be in Philadelphia and believe the Sixers will eventually have to take less than what they want to resolve the situation.

Houston Rockets

Houston is trying to trade John Wall as it focuses on young players. Wall has a big salary, and Simmons has a big salary so the two teams could make it work. But is Wall, plus assets, the return Morey wants for a team that should compete for the Eastern Conference championship? Houston could also end up being part of a three-time deal to help facilitate a trade. If Philadelphia remains patient, it could monitor early-season developments and see if Damian Lillard dislikes the direction Portland is headed.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ben Simmons wants to leave Sixers, so here are some trade destinations

Source: Yahoo Sports

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