The Ben Simmons saga got restarted on Friday when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported trade conversations for the Philadelphia 76ers All-Star picked back up. Simmons hasn’t played this season and the Sixers are looking to move the point guard for a top 25 player, per Woj. Perhaps conversations picked up because of the Indiana Pacers reportedly looking to move some big-name players: Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. Either way, finding Simmons a new home remains a priority for Philly.
The Pacers have decided to go in the direction of a rebuild and are expected to try and offload those three players above before the deadline, per The Athletic. The Portland Trail Blazers are another team to monitor. Portland still needs to hire a full-time general manager but also has a dilemma with PG Damian Lillard looking for a big extension this offseason. The Blazers could look to move Lillard this season or in the Summer. It seems unlikely but anything is possible in today’s NBA.
As I typed that above, Woj tweets that the Blazers have made it clear Lillard is off the table. Might that mean a deal for Simmons would be centered around CJ McCollum? Perhaps. The Blazers guard is currently out with a collapsed lung. We’re unsure when McCollum will be able to return. It may also be a bit before Simmons is in any condition to take the court. Either way, we can speculate as to whether it’s the Pacers, Blazers or another team contacting Philly about Simmons.
LeVert makes some sense in a Sixers-Pacers trade. He’d provide a solid perimeter scorer and shooter while the Pacers add an All-Star in Simmons. The small market in Indiana may be great for Simmons’ career and Rick Carlisle is a great coach and leader. The Pacers may need to include some more salary, which could be in the form of TJ Warren. Simmons for LeVert and Warren works for both sides.