Back when Ben Simmons first notified the Philadelphia 76ers of his desire to be traded, a handful of teams reached out to check on the price tag for the three-time All-Star, who was the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year runner up in 2020-2021.
As the Sixers didn’t necessarily have an interest in parting ways with Simmons, each inquiring team found out that the cost for Simmons services would be high. Among those teams that showed interest was the Sacramento Kings.
Considering Sacramento is looking to turn things around this season with their young and talented backcourt headlined by De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, the Kings wanted to see if it was possible to bring in an experienced All-Star such as Simmons.
However, Sacramento quickly found out that a trade centered around Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley, and draft picks wouldn’t get them anywhere near finalizing a deal for Simmons.
Instead, it was initially reported that the Sixers wanted a package centered around De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton just to start talks. However, the Kings didn’t have any interest in breaking up the duo. At this point, that no longer seems to be the case.
As Sacramento got off to a slow start, they moved on from their head coach Luke Walton. At the time, the idea of splitting up Fox and Haliburton was still out of the question. But since the season didn’t turn around with Walton out of the picture, nobody is off the table for the Kings.
Therefore, the Kings and the Sixers reportedly re-visited their early trade talks involving Simmons, and now the Kings are willing to discuss the idea of trading away Fox, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
"The Philadelphia 76ers canvassed the prospect of a (De’Aaron) Fox, Ben Simmons trade package as recently as a few days ago, but dialogue remains exploratory due diligence.”
While the Sixers and the Kings discussed a possible Simmons-Fox swap, it seems the Sixers aren’t ready to insert Fox into that mysterious list of 25-30 players they’d swap Simmons for. That doesn’t come as a surprise considering Tyrese Maxey’s second-year emergence and Fox’s struggles this season.
While Fox could be a decent addition, Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice reported recently that the Sixers prefer Haliburton over Fox because of his fit with the starting lineup. And any trade that includes Simmons and Fox would probably have to involve another team, re-routing the Kings guard elsewhere.
The Sixers could always change their minds about Fox, but it seems unless another team gets involved with the Sixers and the Kings, Simmons won’t be Sacramento-bound anytime soon.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.