Finally, the Ben Simmons saga might be coming to an end, as the Philadelphia 76ers are increasing their efforts to effect a multi-team trade. Although a source close to the organization has revealed that the Sixers are not interested in CJ McCollum and did not entertain any offer from former Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey regarding a potential Ben Simmons-McCollum trade, several teams are currently lined up for the All-Star guard.
With the trade deadline getting closer, and players becoming available to be moved, there are more options for the Sixers to explore. Nonetheless, they are still interested in getting value for Simmons.
"The New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, and Cleveland Cavaliers are among the teams interested in Simmons, sources said, although it’s unclear how much traction Philadelphia truly has on any move."
So far, the Sixers have performed well on both ends of the floor without Simmons. Although they have had a poor start to the season, it was not due to lack of the edge Simmons brings. Tyrese Maxey stepped up to the billing and has filled in the role at point guard seamlessly.
Defensively, the team also has options, as shown by Matisse Thybulle when the Sixers hosted Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. When he was the primary defender, he held Steph to 2-of-13 shooting from the field, and also blocked several of his three-point attempts.
With the Lakers and the Knicks as the likeliest landing spot, you could see why both teams will need the special skillset Simmons brings. Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has sidelined Kemba Walker because of his defensive struggles, which is why having a defensive-minded player like Simmons will be a significant boost.
For the Lakers, they have struggled on defense so far and it might continue, given the makeup of their roster. Regardless, LeBron James has said that he loves every player on the roster so, it will be interesting to see who will be used in a trade package, as we pretty much know those who are untouchable.