Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons has desired a trade for quite some time now. Following the Sixers' Game 7 loss at home against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2021 playoffs, Simmons thought it would be best if he got a fresh start.
While the Sixers fielded calls and offers for Simmons, Philly's front office had high expectations. And as long as they aren't getting an All-Star caliber player in return for the three-time All-Star, the Sixers won't be making a deal.
Fast forward months later, and that's still the case. The Sixers still haven't received an offer that includes an All-Star. Therefore, Simmons remains untraded. At this point, it's becoming more likely the Sixers will keep Simmons through the trade deadline as there aren't any other All-Stars available at this time.
Daryl Morey and the Sixers' front office remain committed to their plan. Still, there could be another way the Simmons saga ends without Philadelphia receiving a top-tier player -- and the Sacramento Kings could become Simmons' way out.
How Can the Kings Help?
It's no secret the Kings want Ben Simmons. Once the three-time All-Star went on the trade block, Sacramento was one of the first suitors, and they haven't gone away.
At first, the Kings weren't willing to put their young stars such as De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton on the table. These days, that's no longer the case.
While Fox and Haliburton are solid prospects, they don't move the needle for Philadelphia regarding a Simmons trade. According to several reports, taking on Simmons and Tobias Harris' contract does.
There aren't too many teams out there who want to consider matching nearly $80 million in salary for Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons. But as the Kings get desperate to make a move that helps them become playoff contenders, Sam Amick of The Athletic believes the Kings are considering making it happen.
"The Kings, I do believe, are actually pondering the idea of doing (Ben) Simmons and (Tobias) Harris," Amick said on The Athletic NBA Show. "I don't think that's off the table." It wouldn't be easy for the Sixers to unload those two expensive contracts, but if there is a team willing to help them kill two birds with one stone, then it's something they'll have to consider.
What're the chances the Sixers move Simmons and Harris before the deadline? Most likely low still. As the Sixers aren't actively shopping Harris, there's a slim chance he goes anywhere. When it comes to Simmons, the Sixers continue to hold out hope that they'll land an All-Star in return. And because of that, they might have to wait until the upcoming offseason for better options.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.