The Ben Simmons drama continues to be a hot topic around the NBA.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Philadelphia 76ers All-Star was due $8.25 million on Friday (Simmons is still holding out), and they did not pay him (see Tweet below from Charania).
There have been many teams that continue to be named as the potential winner in the sweepstakes to land the 25 year old.
Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer named six teams that are interested in Simmons, and his article can be read here and his Tweet can be seen embedded below.
Pompey named the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN called the Pacers the "sleeper team" for Simmons, and the clip of him on ESPN's The Jump can be seen here.
In my opinion, the Pacers should trade for Simmons as soon as possible.
I believe that Simmons could lead the Pacers to the NBA Finals as soon as next season if all of the chips fell their way.
The Pacers have a roster that is interesting in the modern-day NBA. These days, many teams are either really young (and typically bad) or they're a team loaded with superstars and veterans.
The Pacers are neither.
They are relatively young (oldest player on the team is 32), but they also are not super young.
- Domantas Sabonis (team's best player) is entering his sixth season in the NBA
- Myles Turner is entering his seventh season
- T.J. Warren is 28
- Malcolm Brogdon is 28
- Caris LeVert is 27.
Another unique tidbit?
They have a good team.
Yes, a good team, but not a great one.
However, they are nowhere near bad, but they are also nowhere near a contender for the NBA Championship.
Therefore, this unique roster makeup not only gives them a good chance at landing Simmons (they can offer players ready to help the 76ers right now), but also gives them a grandfathered in good roster for Simmons to lead.
Based on all the public information out there about the 76ers and Simmons, its clear they do not have a lot of leverage right now.
There is no chance that the Pacers would have to totally gut the roster to acquire the number one overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Imagine this hypothetical scenario: two of Turner, Brogdon, LeVert, Warren or Sabonis gets traded.
Well, that would still leave three of those players (who are all borderline All-Stars) and Sabonis is a two-time All-Star.
So, Simmons one of the best passers in the NBA, would be given a team with veterans in their prime that are either an All-Star or a player that is definitely close to being an All-Star.
LeVert averaged over 20 points per game last season, Turner led the NBA in blocks per game, Sabonis has made the All-Star game each of the last two seasons etc.
Injuries have been an issue for the Brooklyn Nets the last two seasons, so they have yet to prove they can complete a full season and the Milwaukee Bucks are coming off an NBA title, who knows how they will respond this season.
If the Pacers could land Simmons, they easily become one of the best teams in the entire Eastern Conference.
Rick Carlisle (their new coach) is an NBA Champion and helped turn Luka Doncic into a top-ten player in the world at 22 years old.
Imagine what he could do with a better overall roster, that also has Simmons who has career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game and is not even in his prime yet.