We’re a little more than a month away from the start of the 2021-22 NBA season and Ben Simmons is still a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite the fact that Simmons has reportedly made clear that he has no intention of reporting to training camp, the Sixers have an exceedingly high bar that opposing teams need to clear, and so far, no one has gotten close.
The list of teams that have been tossed around in recent days have included the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves, but according to Marc Stein, the Cleveland Cavaliers are lurking. In the latest edition of his newsletter, Stein mentioned that the Cavs are doing what they can to be in the conversation for Simmons’ next team.
“The Committee liked the Cavaliers’ recent acquisition of Lauri Markkanen, even after the Cavs drafted Evan Mobley and re-signed Jarrett Allen, because they added Markkanen on a team-friendly contract that will be easy to trade if needed,” Stein wrote. “This is no small thing when league sources say that Cleveland continues to keep its hat in the ring to try to pry Ben Simmons from the Sixers.”
Cleveland is an interesting potential landing spot, as Evan Dammarell of Fear the Sword has reported that Simmons would be interested in getting the chance to go to a place where he’s the team’s clear-cut best player and getting to play alongside fellow Klutch Sports client Darius Garland. Like plenty of other potential landing spots, though, the questions that exist stem from whether or not the pieces the team already has clear the bar Philly wants — while a package centered around Collin Sexton, Kevin Love, and a boatload of picks works financially, that doesn’t really give the Sixers the level of players they want back in a deal. Remember, reports indicate that they refuse to entertain offers from Sacramento unless they include Tyrese Haliburton or De’Aaron Fox.
Perhaps the Cavs can eventually make something work, either because Philly lowers its asking price or Cleveland is able to get a third team in the deal. Training camp is looming, so maybe we’ll be able to get an answer soon.