Right here we’re, lower than one month away from the NBA commerce deadline and Ben Simmons has but to take the ground for the Philadelphia 76ers.
In the meantime, franchise cornerstone Joel Embiid is taking part in like an MVP candidate, averaging 27.1 factors, 10.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals per recreation to maintain the 76ers aggressive and within the playoff image.
At 27 years outdated, Embiid is within the prime of his profession. He is taking part in a few of his finest basketball and most significantly, he is been wholesome, apart from a troublesome bout with COVID-19 earlier within the season.
Embiid is at present amidst some of the dominant stretches in 76ers historical past, becoming a member of Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson as the one gamers to attain 30-plus factors in eight straight video games.
The 76ers are 7-1 over that span, displaying simply how really impactful Embiid has been. However in an period the place there are a number of All-Stars on each championship staff, the 76ers appear to have a ceiling positioned on their championship aspirations with out a co-star.
Simmons was and is meant to be that man, however he hasn’t proven as much as work. Tobias Harris was signed to massive cash to be the third star, inking a five-year, $180 million take care of the 76ers in the course of the 2019 offseason, however that hasn’t precisely panned out both.
Now, each of Embiid’s co-stars discover their names in commerce rumors, however there hasn’t been a lot motion on that entrance.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Simmons’ agent Wealthy Paul met with 76ers president Elton Model and normal supervisor Daryl Morey, however the “sides nonetheless stay at a stalemate over the All-Star guard’s instant future.”
“Simmons is not any nearer to honoring the staff’s hopes for a return to the court docket this season – and the Sixers’ steep asking worth has introduced Simmons no nearer to a possible commerce,” Wojnarowski added.
As for Harris, it is going to be tough to discover a commerce suitor to tackle the remaining $80 million on his contract. Kyle Kuzma put it finest when he tweeted, “How the hell you bundle 80 Ms” in response to a Harris commerce rumor.
Due to how a lot he’s nonetheless owed, Harris might be fairly more likely to stay put in Philadelphia.
So with all of that being stated, are the 76ers actually going to simply waste away one 12 months of Embiid’s prime as a result of they’re too cussed to take again an affordable commerce bundle for Simmons? As of proper now, the reply seems to be sure.
In accordance with Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer’s latest trade intel, Philadelphia’s main stakeholders “are aligned in ready for somebody on par with (Damian) Lillard, James Harden, Bradley Beal or Jaylen Brown to turn into obtainable both earlier than this deadline or later this summer time.”
I get it. It is sensible. But in addition, who’s to say any of these gamers will even be obtainable this summer time?
Within the occasion that conversations do decide up, let’s check out how sure offers might play out in a Simmons commerce.
Who’s the perfect co-star for Embiid in a Simmons commerce?
Relating to discovering the suitable match subsequent to Embiid, gamers like Lillard, Harden, Beal and Brown would all work seamlessly. Like most, I am a believer that Embiid’s finest match for a co-star is a shot-creating guard or wing.
Brown is likely to be probably the most splendid match subsequent to Embiid, however would the Celtics commerce a franchise cornerstone to one in every of their greatest rivals? And would Simmons even be an improve for Boston in that situation? I say no.
The identical applies to the Wizards and Beal, or the Path Blazers and Lillard – is Simmons such an improve that they’d pay the 76ers’ asking worth? In all probability not.
With Harden and the Nets, Simmons’ match makes extra sense than any of the opposite aforementioned locations as a result of they have already got sufficient scoring with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, however I do not see that occuring both due to Harden’s relationship with the opposite two superstars.
So earlier than the 76ers let one other MVP-worthy season go to waste for Embiid, why not decrease the asking worth and discover gamers who could make you higher now?
One intriguing identify that has popped up in a few rumblings within the commerce rumor mill is Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton. The Kings seem like prepared to half methods with anybody to change the path of the franchise, and Haliburton can be a fantastic get for the current and way forward for the 76ers. You’d have so as to add in one other participant as a result of Haliburton continues to be on his rookie-scale contract, and sharpshooter Buddy Hield makes sufficient cash to push it via.
The issue right here is that the 76ers would seemingly ask for one (or a number of) of the Kings’ first-round picks, and that is likely to be the place Sacramento hangs up the telephone. Particularly, when you think about the odd match between De’Aaron Fox and Simmons.
However fascinated about Haliburton and Hield paired with Embiid and the 76ers’ present roster will get them nearer to contending for a title, there is not any doubt about that.
This is only one instance of a possible commerce that would higher the Sixers’ title possibilities alongside Embiid’s monster season thus far, and it is the closest I might get to the opposite franchise probably saying sure.
The purpose is that this: Embiid’s finest match is a guard or wing who scores from the perimeter or midrange, and it is an added bonus if they will create for others.
The 76ers ought to be doing all they will to interchange the Simmons void with a participant of that make-up as quickly as attainable earlier than Embiid’s prime passes him by and “The Course of” years wash away with out a single championship banner to indicate for it.