The Philadelphia 76ers have continued to shop for a trade partner for Ben Simmons. With several players becoming available for trade a few days before Christmas, more trade options are opening up for the Sixers.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, conversations are starting to intensify with a likely two or three-team trade scenario. At this point, no specific team has been identified as a trade partner even after several trade rumors have linked Simmons to the Portland Trail Blazers.
On the latest episode of NBA Countdown, the panelists, including Stephen A. Smith, Jalen Rose, and Michael Wilbon discussed the Simmons situation and likely destinations teams.
Stephen A. is all for Simmons in Portland, as he believes he could create a dynamic backcourt. But Rose thinks a trade for Kyrie Irving would be ideal over that of the Blazers and the Indiana Pacers.
"The last place I'd trade him is Brooklyn. If I got KD and Kyrie, and I get Ben Simmons, I'm Philly I'm never coming out of the East. I'm sending him out West. And CJ McCollum will eventually be healthy. This brother can put up 20 a night. He is a perimeter shooter, a legit two-guard, and by the way, it ain't gonna just be CJ McCollum, it will be other picks."
While pundits continue to speculate, one thing that is almost a given is that Simmons will be moved. He has said that he is not mentally ready to play for the Sixers.
Neither Irving nor Simmons have featured for their respective teams this season. While Simmons' absence has been due to bad blood between him and the franchise, Irving's absence is due to covid-19. Yet, a plot twist could ruin whatever plan the Nets might have to land Simmons. He's reportedly unvaccinated and that wouldn't help him if he lands in Brooklyn for Kyrie.
The Nets guard has refused to take the covid-19 vaccine for personal reasons, and the New York City covid-19 mandate has prohibited him from playing. Although he could play for the team on road games, the organization was not willing to have him on the roster on a part-time basis.
Irving has said that he is open to taking a plant-based vaccine. If he does that, he might be eligible to play for the Nets before the end of this season.