Despite the offseason market slowing down nearly to a halt, the trade rumors continue to churn as evidenced by the variety of reports we received on the matter this week.
Two players coming off impressive rookie campaigns will make our Trade Rumor Rankings, which ranks the five players who have appeared most often on our Trade Rumors Page over the previous seven days, for the first time.
They’ll be joined by three All-Stars who have been the focus of trade scuttle all offseason.
Let’s jump right in.
Tyrese Haliburton (Sacramento)
Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton posted a productive rookie campaign, averaging 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists to go with 1.3 steals and 2.1 three-pointers nightly. And that was while having to share point-guard duties with a borderline All-Star at the position in De’Aaron Fox, so imagine what Haliburton might be able to do as he gets older, develops and is allowed to run lead guard more consistently? That could make him a very interesting player to watch over the next few years. If reports are to be believed, we’ll be watching Haliburton develop as a member of the Kings, as multiple outlets reported this week that Sacramento considers both Haliburton and Fox untouchable in trade talks for Ben Simmons. The Sacramento Beewere first to report that this week:
As for Sacramento, sources have suggested the 76ers would only be willing to consider an offer that includes De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton. The Kings are unlikely to part with either player, but they can offer Buddy Hield, a prolific 3-point shooter who would space the floor for Joel Embiid; Marvin Bagley III, a former No. 2 pick who has yet to reach his potential; and other assets, including multiple first-round draft picks.
That was backed up by national NBA reporter Sam Amick not long thereafter (via The Athletic):
According to a source with knowledge of their situation, the Kings spoke to the Sixers weeks ago and made it clear that both De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton would not be included in a possible Simmons deal. That stance, the source said, has not and will not change and the internal expectation is that the core of their roster will remain the same heading into training camp later this month.
That could be posturing by the Kings, as it would make some sense that they consider making Haliburton the focal piece of a Simmons acquisition, considering they already have an elite young point guard who’s still somehow just 23 years old in Fox. For what it’s worth, Fox is just two years older than Haliburton. If you believe Fox is your All-Star point guard of the future, why not move Haliburton if you’re Sacramento for a player in Simmons who was All-NBA in 2019-20 and finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting just last season? It’s worth considering at least. Either way, the Kings don’t seem too keen on that idea just yet. They’re probably hoping they can get into the Simmons sweepstakes by offering just disgruntled sharpshooter Buddy Hield and the even more disgruntled Marvin Bagley, who has shown next to nothing as a pro after being the No. 2 pick of 2018’s draft. For the latest Tyrese Haliburton trade rumors, click here.
Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia)
Philadelphia 76ers ball-handler Tyrese Maxey didn’t post quite as impressive a rookie year as Haliburton (he averaged an 8.0/1.7/2.0 stat line and shot 30.1 percent from three), but the flashes he did display hinted at a great future as a scorer in the NBA. As such, naturally, there is already interest in him league-wide as a trade target, though it would be mad to expect Philadephia to entertain trading such a promising 20-year-old anytime soon. If reports are to be trusted, however, they might not have a choice in the matter, as it was reported this week that Maxey’s agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, wants his young client out of Philadelphia along with Simmons, who he also represents. That’s according to Philadelphia reporter Jason Dumas, at least: https://twitter.com/JDumasReports/status/1432801744724000771 That might not be such a bad thing for the Sixers, all things considered, as a trade package including defensive stud Simmons and the potential-packed Maxey might get them into the conversation for higher-level trade targets or net them even more draft capital than if they were offering Simmons alone. It’ll be fascinating to see this situation play out. But more on Simmons in just a bit. For the latest Tyrese Maxey trade rumors, click here.
Damian Lillard (Portland)
Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard made waves a week ago by saying the following on an Instagram Live session with fans: https://twitter.com/LandonBuford/status/1430410477847392256?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1430410477847392256%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fhoopshype.com%2Fstoryline%2Fdamian-lillard-trade%2F That “at least” he threw in at the end was particularly interesting and dissected by fans of the Association. Lillard also challenged a fan on Twitter to bet him $1 million that he wouldn’t be playing for the Lakers on opening night: https://twitter.com/dame_lillard/status/1425893659224985603?lang=en So it’s clear Lillard is starting to have fun with the situation. There were other reports on Lillard this past week, including one from Shams Charania (via The Athletic)
Philadelphia has its eyes set on Portland All-NBA guard Damian Lillard, sources say, but the Trail Blazers have fully focused on continuing to build around Lillard. As of now, Lillard is continuing to evaluate the Trail Blazers’ present and future and is slated to begin training camp with the organization. In some ways, the 76ers are stuck between deciding whether to make a move now with Simmons – or waiting until a star like Lillard shakes free.
As well as one from the Philadelphia Inquirer:
The belief around the league is the Sixers have been holding out for six-time All-NBA point guard Damian Lillard to request a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers.
It continues to appear that Lillard is going to give the Blazers another shot this season, perhaps hoping first-year head coach Chauncey Billups will make the difference for Portland or that they have another big move up their sleeves after acquiring Larry Nance Jr. from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Things could change quickly if the Blazers struggle this regular season, but for now, it seems the superstar floor general is staying put in the Pacific Northwest. For the latest Damian Lillard trade rumors, click here.
Pascal Siakam (Toronto)
After a tumultuous 2020-21 campaign for both the Toronto Raptors and All-Star swingman Pascal Siakam, one that looked so bad at one point that it seemed like Siakam could even ask out and request a trade, things are much more stable for both sides heading into the 2021-22 season. Just this week, Siakam’s agent, Todd Ramasar, told Sirius XM NBA Radio that Siakam would not be asking for a trade out of Toronto: https://twitter.com/SiriusXMNBA/status/1431025539746353156?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1431025539746353156%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fhoopshype.com%2Fstoryline%2Fpascal-siakam-trade%2F Ramasar also went on an NBA Sports podcast to further discuss the trade rumors surrounding his star client (via Hoops Rumors):
Pascal Siakam has been the subject of trade rumors following the Raptors‘ disappointing season, but the fifth-year forward isn’t looking to be moved, agent Todd Ramasar said in an NBC Sports podcast. “That’s the last thing on his mind,” Ramasar said. “… He loves it there. Yes. He won a championship. … That’s never come from us that there’s a change … Because of the pandemic, because the Raptors missed the playoffs, there’s been a lot of speculation around (about a trade), but it’s not because of Pascal or anything he’s said. Or even the organization. I think that’s just the chatter that picks up going into an offseason.”
The Sacramento Bee also reported this week that although the Kings have shown an interest in Siakam in the past, “Siakam isn’t seeking a trade and the Raptors are unlikely to move him.” It looks like we can put this one to bed – for now, at least – as it’s appearing more and more likely that Siakam stays put with the Raptors for at least the foreseeable future. Things might change if Toronto struggles again in 2021-22, but for now, Siakam doesn’t seem to be on the verge of getting traded or of requesting to be moved. For the latest Pascal Siakam trade rumors, click here.
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia)
By far the biggest talking point on the trade market this week has been regarding Simmons, a flurry of reporting which began on Tuesday when the Philadelphia Inquirerfirst reported that the Australian southpaw had formally informed 76ers brass that he would like a trade out of Philadephia:
Ben Simmons let it be known that he wants out. In a meeting with the 76ers last week in Los Angeles, Simmons told team co-managing partner Josh Harris, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand and coach Doc Rivers that he no longer wants to remain a Sixer, according to multiple sources. Sources said the three-time All-Star also does not intend to report to training camp. A team spokesman declined to comment.
That report would go on to state that Sixers shot-caller Daryl Morey is still asking for king’s ransoms in exchange for Simmons, as well as that people around the league believe it’ll be difficult for Morey to receive what he’s asking for now that Simmons has made it clear he wants out, which will only hurt his trade value even worse than his postseason performance did. USA Today would then report that the rift between Simmons and Philadelphia star Joel Embiid is “escalating,” only adding to the idea that the Sixers would try to trade their supersized point guard. For what it’s worth, Embiid, who’s known for his shyness on social media, fought back against that report almost immediately: https://twitter.com/JoelEmbiid/status/1433067490481946626 ESPN’s Brian Windhorst then reported that Simmons could be planning to hold out if Philadephia doesn’t trade him by training camp and that Simmons has little leverage while noting that his trade value is low at the moment. We already discussed another one of the Simmons-related reports that said him being moved to the Kings is unlikely at the moment due to Sacramento not wanting to deal Fox or Haliburton for him, but two other teams were discussed as potential Simmons suitors this week: the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves. As far as the Warriors are concerned, Anthony Slater reported today that talks between Golden State and Philadelphia for Simmons aren’t “dead” because they never existed in the first place. So we can rule out the Warriors as a landing spot for Simmons, at least as things stand currently. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, remain hot on the tail of Simmons, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, who reported the following:
In conversations with teams in Las Vegas, I came away with the impression that the Timberwolves were the team that was most active in talks to try to make a Simmons deal happen. […] The sense is that teams are going to try to wait this out for a little while and see if the heat prompts Morey to come down on his asking price. The Wolves can’t, or won’t, meet it right now.
Minnesota has consistently been mentioned as having a major interest in Simmons, so they’re definitely a team to keep an eye on over the coming weeks. And considering their struggles defensively since losing Jimmy Butler, it’s easy to see why a versatile player like Simmons could be so enticing to the Wolves. Regardless, as long as Morey doesn’t come down on what’s been reported to be an astronomical asking price for Simmons, the Klutch client won’t be going anywhere. Not with his trade value being what it is after his playoff showing: cratered. For the latest Ben Simmons trade rumors, click here.
Source: Yahoo Sports