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NBA Rumors: 76ers Could Pair Joel Embiid With Brandon Ingram

NBA Rumors- 76ers Could Pair Joel Embiid With Brandon Ingram

In the aftermath of 2021's heartbreaking second-round defeat, a disgruntled Ben Simmons took it upon himself to end his tenure with the 76ers.

Over the following few months, Simmons would make his desire for a trade abundantly clear, and today, he has still not played a single game for the franchise since losing to the Hawks last summer.

While things are slow on the trade front, it hasn't stopped fans and analysts from speculating what kind of players Philly could land before the deadline.

In one interesting segment on ESPN, basketball insider Kevin Pelton threw a particularly interesting name into the mix: Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans. In a piece on ESPN, he played with the idea of a Simmons/Ingram swap between the Sixers and Pels.

Simmons and Ingram have been tied since they were the top two picks in the 2016 draft. How might negotiations between Philly and New Orleans go?

From Philadelphia's standpoint, Ingram might be one of the best talents available, but his skill set duplicates a lot of the value Tobias Harris provides operating 1-on-1 from the wing. Amusingly, both are among the 20-most similar players to each other this season, according to my SCHOENE projection system.

There are some big question marks regarding an Embiid/Ingram pairing, especially considering Tobias Harris, who is a very similar player.

At the very least, we know that the Pelicans have at least some interest in Simmons. It was reported weeks ago that the two were having conversations that (at that point) hadn't even included Zion or Ingram.

Obviously, talks have slowed down and it's likely that the Sixers are still holding out hope of landing a bigger name.

But at this stage, Ingram might be the best they could do.

With trade talks for Simmons virtually dead, and most A-list stars off the table, a young and talented scorer like BI is who they should be looking at. Through 17 games so far this season, he's averaging 22.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game on 45% shooting.

His long frame and offensive range would help open things up for Embiid on the inside, where he can be left to dominate.

In New Orleans, nobody knows if a Zion and Simmons pairing would work. Both players play inside and under the rim. Nevertheless, it's not unreasonable that they'd want to shake things up in their current state.

In the end, the 76ers are going to have to trade Ben Simmons eventually. The only thing left to find out is when and for who.