Here we are, less than a month from the NBA trade deadline and Ben Simmons has yet to speak for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Meanwhile, franchise cornerstone Joel Embiid is playing as an MVP contender, averaging 27.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals per game for keep the 76ers competitive and in the playoff picture.
At 27, Embiid is in the prime of life. He plays some of his best basketball and, more importantly, he’s in good health, aside from a tough fight with COVID-19 earlier in the season.
Embiid is currently in the middle of one of the most dominant stretches in 76ers history, joining Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson as the only players to score more than 30 points in eight straight games.
The 76ers are 7-1 over this span, showing just how impactful Embiid has been. But at a time when there are multiple All-Stars on every Championship team, the 76ers seem to have a cap on their championship aspirations without a co-star.
Simmons was and is supposed to be that guy, but he didn’t show up for work. Tobias Harris was signed with a lot of money to be the third star, signing a five-year, $ 180 million contract with the 76ers during the 2019 offseason, but it didn’t really work out either.
Now, the two Embiid co-stars find their names in business rumors, but there hasn’t been a lot of movement on that front.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that Simmons’ agent Rich Paul had met with 76ers president Elton Brand and general manager Daryl Morey, but “the parties are still at a deadlock over the immediate future. of the guard of the stars “.
“Simmons is nowhere near honoring the team’s hopes of a return to the field this season – and the Sixers’ high asking price hasn’t brought Simmons closer to a potential trade,” Wojnarowski added.
As for Harris, it’s going to be difficult to find a commercial suitor to shoulder the $ 80 million remaining on his contract. Kyle Kuzma said it best when he tweeted, “How the heck you pack 80 Ms” in response to a business rumor from Harris.
Due to the amount he is owed, Harris is probably quite likely to stay in Philadelphia.
So with all That being said, are the 76ers really going to lose a year of Embiid’s bounty because they’re too stubborn to take back a reasonable trading package for Simmons? At the moment, the answer seems to be yes.
According to the latest business information from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, key Philadelphia stakeholders “are lined up waiting for someone equal to (Damian) Lillard, James Harden, Bradley Beal or Jaylen Brown to be available before this deadline. or later this summer. “
I understand. It makes sense. But also, who can say that one of these players will even be available this summer?
In case the conversations pick up, let’s take a look at how certain transactions might play out in a Simmons trade.
Who is the perfect co-star for Embiid in a Simmons swap?
When it comes to finding the right fit next to Embiid, players like Lillard, Harden, Beal, and Brown would all work seamlessly. Like most, I’m convinced that Embiid’s best fit for a co-star is a hitting guard or wing.
Brown might be the most ideal fit next to Embiid, but would the Celtics trade a franchise cornerstone to one of their biggest rivals? And would Simmons even be an upgrade for Boston in this scenario? I say no.
The same applies to the Wizards and Beal, or the Trail Blazers and Lillard – is Simmons such an upgrade that they would pay the price the 76ers ask for? Probably not.
With Harden and the Nets, Simmons’ fit makes more sense than any of the other places mentioned above because they already have enough points with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but I don’t see that happening either because of of Harden’s relationship with the other two superstars.
So before the 76ers let another MVP-worthy season go to waste for Embiid, why not lower the asking price and find players who can make you better. now?
One intriguing name that has popped up in a few rumbles in the commercial rumor mill is Kingsguard Tyrese Haliburton. The Kings seem poised to part ways with anyone to change the direction of the franchise, and Haliburton would be a great asset to the present and future of the 76ers. You’ll have to add another player as Haliburton is still on his rookie deal and sniper Buddy Hield is making enough money to get him through.
The problem here is, the 76ers would likely ask for one (or more) of the Kings’ first-round picks, and maybe that’s where Sacramento will hang up the phone. Especially, considering the odd fit between De’Aaron Fox and Simmons.
But to think of Haliburton and Hield paired with Embiid and the current 76ers roster brings them one step closer to the title fight, there’s no doubt about it.
This is just one example of a potential trade that could improve the Sixers’ title chances alongside Embiid’s monsters season so far, and it’s the closest I could get from there. another franchise potentially saying yes.
The point is this: Embiid’s best fit is a guard or wing that scores from the perimeter or midrange, and that’s an added bonus if they can create for others.
The 76ers should do their utmost to replace Simmons’ void with a player of this lineup as soon as possible before Embiid’s debut overtakes him and the “The Process” years are gone without a single championship banner to show for. that.