Another day, another trade proposal involving Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons amid the drama surrounding him at the moment following his trade request and holdout declaration. The Sixers begin training camp on Tuesday and it is probably best to get a deal done sooner rather than later.
Despite the drama and the offensive weaknesses in his game, he has the potential to be a franchise cornerstone. All he really needs is that jump shot, but the Sixers can no longer wait for him with Joel Embiid in his prime.
A new trade proposal from ESPN has Philadelphia moving Simmons to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kevin Love, 2022 first-round pick (unprotected), 2024 first-round pick (top-4 protected in 2024, unprotected in 2025), and 2026 first-round pick (available two years after 2024 pick conveys, top-4 protected in 2026 and 2027, unprotected in 2028).
ESPN on the deal:
Both sides would be taking huge risks here. Cleveland risks giving up multiple high picks if Simmons doesn’t lead the team back to the playoffs, while Philadelphia could be parting with Simmons for only middling picks and have to pay Love the remaining $60 million and change on his contract.
Still, Morey didn’t get where he is by avoiding risks. If the 76ers are convinced Simmons isn’t bluffing about never playing for the team again, a trade like this would be the best way to spin his value forward until a star becomes available.
Much like the rumblings about John Wall, acquiring a guy like Love would be a huge risk for the Sixers. Obviously, he is owed a ton of money and he has played a combined 162 games over the previous four seasons. He is also not the player he once was. He averaged only 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 36.5% from deep for the Cavs in the 2020-21 season.
Wall and Love are big names, but trading Simmons for either does not make much sense at this stage of their careers. It might be better if Philadelphia holds on to him a little bit longer to see if they can get a better deal.