The Ben Simmons saga remains alive and well in Philadelphia. Although the Sixers All-Star remains untraded through the first month of the 2021-2022 NBA season, he continues to hold out hope that he'll get traded before the deadline.
Meanwhile, the Sixers continue to hope that Simmons either returns to the court or another team reaches out with a dream offer that includes an All-Star caliber player. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, there is a list the Sixers put together made up of about 30 players around the league.
If the Sixers were presented the opportunity to send a Simmons-centric package for one of those players, then Daryl Morey and the front office would consider it a win. While the list hasn't necessarily been revealed, a few names have been linked to the situation. Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is an obvious candidate. So is Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
And although the Brooklyn Nets won the James Harden sweepstakes last season, Daryl Morey's pipe dream of landing the former MVP is reportedly still alive and well. While those three names don't come as much of a surprise -- rumors regarding the Sixers' interest in Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant caused a shock reaction late in the week.
Not too long before the Sixers tipped off against the Denver Nuggets, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Grant is among one of the names on the Sixers' mystery list. However, Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice recently rebutted the report, describing trade talks between Philly and Detroit as "old" and "inactive."
"According to sources, those discussions were not just old and presently inactive, they were of little interest to the Sixers. The team's list of players they'd be interested in acquiring for Simmons, recently referred to by Sam Amick in a report for The Athletic, does not include Grant, a source familiar with the situation tells PhillyVoice."
While Grant is a solid player and has shown tons of improvement and upside throughout his journey of a career, which ironically began in Philadelphia, he doesn't exactly move the needle for the Sixers, who need to acquire a player that would immediately boost their championship odds.
In his report, Neubeck laid out three reasons why acquiring Grant doesn't interest the Sixers at this time. One, the fit alongside Tobias Harris is a cause for concern. Two, Grant's making a lot of money for a guy who would be a second option, at best. And three, he's not an All-Star, unlike Simmons, who's made appearances in the big game over the last three years.
If Detroit seriously wanted to acquire Simmons, then the Sixers' front office probably wouldn't have much interest at this time unless the first-overall pick Cade Cunningham is an option, according to Neubeck. Since the Pistons are in the midst of re-building, it doesn't make much sense for them to cast out their top pick from the latest draft to acquire a player who should be viewed as a "win-now" piece.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.