According to a report, the Philadelphia 76ers would want the Cleveland Cavaliers to make a very specific and major concession in a potential deal for Ben Simmons.
The Sixers would reportedly want to receive first-round picks with “limited or no protections.”
“Sources maintain the Cavs don’t have any ‘untouchables,'” wrote Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “However, prized rookie Evan Mobley and rising point guard Darius Garland are closest to that designation. The likelihood of either player being moved is incredibly low. That leaves Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro and future first-rounders to help cajole a Simmons deal.
“According to sources, the 76ers would want limited or no protections on those firsts in hopes of flipping them for an All-Star caliber player around the deadline. That, alone, would be incredibly risky for Cleveland — a still-rebuilding team that’s won 60 combined games over the last three years and is only projected to win around 26 this season. Even the addition of Simmons wouldn’t change the 2021-22 forecast that much, as the Cavs wouldn’t have enough short-term floor-spacers or shooters around the limited Simmons. Any deal would mean rejiggering the roster quite a bit.”
It sounds like Philadelphia’s asking price for Simmons is still extremely high.
One of the factors that makes Simmons an attractive target for rebuilding teams is the fact that he’s under contract for several years. If the Cavs were to trade for him, he would likely become a part of the organization’s long-term plans.
However, many fans would be stunned to see Cleveland bite on a deal for Simmons given the current asking price.
The three-time All-Star averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 points per game in the 2020-21 season. He remains an elite defender, playmaker and rebounder despite some of his woes as a scorer.
Time will tell where Simmons lands for the 2021-22 season.