The Sixers are looking for a team desperate enough to offer them a substantial return for Ben Simmons, who has demanded a trade despite his value being at an all-time low.
That team might be the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the Cavaliers have made nearly nobody on the roster untouchable in a trade package for Simmons, and could be willing to make a huge offer to the Sixers.
"Sources maintain the Cavs don’t have any “untouchables.” However, prized rookie Evan Mobley and rising point guard Darius Garland are closest to that designation. The likelihood of either player being moved is incredibly low. That leaves Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro and future first-rounders to help cajole a Simmons deal.
According to sources, the 76ers would want limited or no protections on those firsts in hopes of flipping them for an All-Star caliber player around the deadline.”
While it sounds like landing Garland or Mobley would be tough, the first-rounds picks that the Cavaliers could offer — in addition to players — would be incredibly valuable. The Cavaliers are routinely one of the worst teams in the league. Chances are Simmons isn’t changing that. Getting multiple unprotected first-round picks from the Cavaliers would not only likely end up being top-five picks, but they would also be great trade pieces if the Sixers did want to flip them in an attempt to land a player like Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal.
If the Cavaliers were to offer up the picks, plus a combination Sexton and Okoro, it might be the best offer the Sixers could get right now — and get them out of a very ugly situation.
Multiple reports, presumably leaked by Simmons’ camp, have made it very clear Simmons will not be coming to training camp. The Sixers can fine and suspend Simmons if he doesn’t come to training camp when it starts at the end of the month. Simmons, however, is on a five-year, $177 million contract — meaning the fines might not be enough to convince him to come back to Philadelphia.
Chances are Simmons will eventually report if the Sixers continue to fine him, but the team has to wonder if they would be better off trading Simmons now and moving on from him as opposed to forcing him to come and dealing with all of the issues that would come with him reporting to a team he doesn’t want to play for.
What the Sixers will do remains to be seen, but one thing is very clear — this situation is only going to get worse the longer it drags out and is going to be a massive distraction if it continues into the new season.