As the old saying goes, beggars can't be choosers, but it doesn't appear that the Philadelphia 76ers are "beggars," or even close to that, in the Ben Simmons trade sweepstakes. It's no secret that they're going to explore their options, especially if an opportunity to trade for a franchise star arises, but Daryl Morey and company still appear to be fairly choosy in what they'd be willing to move Simmons for.
A failed attempt reportedly came from the Indiana Pacers, who were said to have offered up Malcolm Brogdon — a sweet-shooting, defensively adept combo guard — and a first-round pick for Simmons but were subsequently denied.
Apparently, another package from an Eastern Conference non-playoff team won't be enough to get the job done either. This hypothetical deal comes from the Cavaliers and includes explosive scorer Collin Sexton, veteran forward Kevin Love and draft capital, and according to Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com, the belief from those in the know is that it would have "little appeal" to the 76ers (h/t Justin Grasso of SI.com).
"Every NBA person I talked to said Sixers GM Daryl Morey wants someone such as Damian Lillard in a Simmons deal," Pluto wrote. "The Love/Sexton/draft pick package would have little appeal to him."
However, one of those "NBA people" feels that Simmons would be of interest on the other side of the deal, saying that Cleveland has no one who compares with Simmons and that he can be a "game-changer" in several facets for the Cavs. Seeing as the Cavaliers ranked third to last in adjusted defensive rating for the 2020-21 season and were in the bottom 10 in both rebounds and assists, he'd obviously prove beneficial in a number of areas. But would Simmons joining forces with their No. 3 overall pick — who many have tapped as big man Evan Mobley of USC — Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro and company be enough to push them over the top? That's another question.
In any event, it won't matter if Morey can find a Lillard or Bradley Beal-type name who could be swapped for Simmons, as the Cavaliers don't have any talent that could approach that level of intrigue. Until then, however, they have to be seen as a potential suitor in the Simmons sweepstakes.
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