Ever since the Sixers made Ben Simmons available for a trade this offseason, the three-time All-Star has been linked to a few potential swaps involving other notable players around the league.
To name a few examples; Simmons and more for Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. Simmons for Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox or the young three-time All-Star for the 31-year-old point guard that is John Wall.
While all three of those players and more have been mentioned in hypothetical trades involving Simmons over the last couple of months, one name that hasn't been mentioned a whole lot is Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine.
This offseason, the Bulls made a couple of notable moves that are sure to put Chicago on the Eastern Conference's playoff radar. While the league-wide assumption right now is that LaVine will remain with the Bulls, an ESPN panel recently suggested a LaVine-Simmons swap as something they would love to see.
In the hypothetical trade, the Chicago Bulls land the 25-year-old three-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year runner-up Ben Simmons straight up while the Sixers take on Zach LaVine and veteran forward Derrick Jones Jr.
"The most logical deal on the board, ever since the idea of trading Simmons has come up, is not to move him for Portland's McCollum, as has often been suggested. Instead, it is to send him to Chicago for another mid-20s All-Star-level player in LaVine, plus a physical forward on an expiring contract in Jones to balance out the money.
"LaVine isn't a perfect player by any stretch -- particularly defensively. But if there's any team that can make up for those deficiencies, it is Philadelphia, which can surround him with above-average or better players at that end at just about every position, including arguably the league's most dominant interior defender in Embiid. But it's at the other end where LaVine, who shot better than 50% from the field and 41.9% from 3-point range last year with Chicago, could do wonders for a Sixers offense that never ceases to get stuck in quagmires while trying to navigate its awkward fits across the court."
Whichever direction the Sixers decide to go when they do officially ship Simmons off, they will more than likely take a hit on defense. After all, Simmons did establish himself as one of the best defensive players in the league last season.
But we've learned over the last few seasons that Simmons' focus on perimeter defense can only get you so far in the playoffs. LaVine would bring reliable scoring to the Sixers' offense, offering a dose of something different. Over the course of his seven-year career, LaVine has averaged nearly 40-percent from three and accounted for over 20 points per game throughout the last three seasons.
Right now, the chances of Chicago moving Zach LaVine are low. As the Bulls just revamped the roster, they'll have to give their new and improved squad a fair opportunity to play together. However, if the Bulls get off to an underwhelming start and the Sixers still possess Ben Simmons, the two teams could discuss ESPN's desired trade later on down the line this year.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.