While Ben Simmons has not played a game for the 76ers in the 2021–22 season, it is certain that he will not be taking his talents to Sacramento, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Kings, a franchise that was once highly aggressive in its discussions to land Simmons, have ended their pursuit of negotiating a deal to secure the three-time NBA All-Star, per Wojnarowski.
Sacramento reportedly felt that Philadelphia’s asking price for Simmons was “too steep” and that the possibility of striking a deal was non-existent. With the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching on Feb. 10, 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has explicitly stated that the franchise does not plan to trade Simmons for anything less than a key piece alongside Joel Embiid, with the idea of increasing the team’s chances of winning a NBA championship.
Despite balking on Simmons, Sacramento is eager to restructure its roster. The Kings have several players that could potentially be traded, including forward Harrison Barnes, guard Buddy Hield and center Richaun Holmes.
Earlier this month, Wojnarowski reported that the price for Simmons was consistently growing. And according to The Athletic's Shams Charania and Sam Amick, Morey does not believe he will find his top target for Simmons before the league’s trade deadline in 13 days.
The latest discussions in Philadelphia have been centered around acquiring James Harden or another high-caliber player during offseason instead of trying to deal Simmons for what is currently available in trade talks.
The 76ers have reportedly shown interest in Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Celtics guard Jaylen Brown since August. While both Lillard and Brown are currently under contract for a couple more seasons, Beal and Harden have player options for the 2022–23 season.
As trade and rumors continue to swirl, The Athletic reported that Simmons plans to sit out the remainder of this season if a deal is not done by the deadline. Currently, Simmons is under contract with Philadelphia through the 2024–25 season.
Philadelphia (29–19) sits two games behind Miami in second place in the Eastern Conference.
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