The Sacramento Kings' interest in Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons is no secret. Ever since Simmons requested a trade, which caused the Sixers to test the waters for a possible deal, the Kings have been in on the limited action.
Initially, Sacramento reportedly suggested a package centered around Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley, which was met with much resistance from Philadelphia's front office. As the Sixers want an All-Star caliber player in return, that package didn't come close to moving the needle for Daryl Morey.
Before the 2021-2022 NBA season started, the Kings had no interest in moving on from De'Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton. Now, that no longer seems to be the case. After a disappointing 18-28 start to the season, the playoff-hopeful Kings realized their young backcourt couldn't get them to the postseason themselves.
And in order to make a move that boosts their odds of making it to the playoffs, the Kings will have to move Fox or Haliburton. Suddenly, those two are on the table. And the Kings are still interested in Ben Simmons.
However, the Sixers reportedly have a mild interest in Haliburton, as he doesn't equate to Simmons' value. As for Fox, the Sixers don't seem intrigued and reportedly need a third team to get involved if Fox is the prospect the Kings are moving.
It seemed that Sacramento's front office placed themselves in a Simmons or bust situation for quite some time. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, that's not necessarily the case.
The Pacers are Players
Sure, the Kings would love to acquire Simmons and might even consider trying to take on Tobias Harris to make that happen, but other options interest the Kings. Per Amick, Sacramento also has an interest in Indiana Pacers big man, Damontas Sabonis.
"There is going to be a big-time deal," Amick told KHTK Sports 1140 in Sacramento while noting the Kings' interest in Simmons and Sabonis. "There is a fair amount of pressure for this roster to look pretty different after the deadline."
It's no secret the Pacers are sellers this season. As Indiana struggles, the team made it clear to the rest of the league earlier this year that top prospects such as Sabonis and Myles Turner are on the trade block.
Considering the Kings are reportedly interested in Sabonis, there is certainly a chance that the Kings and the Pacers strike a deal before the deadline next month. While the 76ers aren't ruled out, Indiana's chances of making a deal with Sacramento might be higher than Philly's at this time.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.