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Once one of the most aggressive teams in the pursuit of disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, the Sacramento Kings have now shifted their focus elsewhere.

According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Kings have given up hope on landing Simmons this season. Although Sacramento is still engaged in other offers and are eager to make one or several moves to bolster the roster, the Kings reportedly believed that the asking price for Simmons is “too steep,” and there is no realistic chance a deal with Philly will get done.

From the beginning of the Simmons saga, the Kings have been connected to the Sixers. While they were willing to make Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley available, the Sixers made it clear they weren’t interested in packages containing role players and picks. Instead, they wanted an All-Star.

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For a brief moment, it seemed there was a chance the Sixers could snag Sacramento’s most notable star De’Aaron Fox in a Simmons-centric deal. But a source close to the situation confirmed that the Sixers aren’t interested in Fox. And while they reportedly prefer Tyrese Haliburton due to fit purposes, Haliburton isn’t the top-tier prospect the Sixers are aiming for in a Simmons deal. 

At this point, the Kings have made it clear that neither Fox nor Haliburton are on the table. And while they still want to make roster changes, they are no longer interested in talking shop with Daryl Morey and the 76ers. 

As Sacramento removes itself from the Simmons sweepstakes, that leaves the Sixers with very few trade options left ahead of the deadline, which leads Philadelphia one step closer towards keeping Ben Simmons for the rest of the 2021-2022 NBA season. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_