'Team to watch': New suitor emerges for Ben Simmons trade

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Ben Simmons has not played a game this season after requesting a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons has not played a game this season after requesting a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Ben Simmons is unlikely to be moving anywhere fast as his trade saga with the Philadelphia 76ers continues to drag on, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost.

The Aussie All-Star is still nowhere near returning to the court for the 76ers, but as the NBA's February 10 trade deadline looms, his name is certain to dominate headlines once again.

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Several teams have already held some trade talks with the 76ers since the beginning of the season, notably the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Those three are expected to continue negotiating with the Sixers, however the price for Simmons is expected to remain high.

Philadelphia GM Daryl Morey has repeatedly stated his willingness to let the standoff play out over multiple seasons, insisting on getting a All Star level player back, plus multiple first round picks.

Consensus among most fans is that Simmons, largely due to his poor performance in last season's playoffs, is not worth the kind of trade package the 76ers are demanding.

However ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski believes the Cleveland Cavaliers could be in a position to make a move for Simmons, descriving them as a 'team to watch' in the Simmons sweepstakes..

"Before they went on this incredible run to start the season, they had been ngaged with Philly on Simmons," he said.

"They've got some really intriguing assets, either in a straight deal with Philly or perhaps a three or four team deal.

"This is a team in Cleveland which is one game out of third place.

"Philly is a team right now in the bunched up Eastern Conference who could be out of the play-in tournament if they have a couple of losses.

"Expect Philly to start talking to teams more closer to that February 10 deadline."

Ben Simmons fit in Cleveland an enticing prospect

Wojnarowski said Simmons would fit well with a developing Cavaliers roster which has exceeded expectations so far this season.

The Cavaliers boast a 20-13 record, as well as one of the premier young big men in the league with Jarrett Allen and promising Rookie of the Year frontrunner Evan Mobley.

Cleveland supplemented their young roster with the addition of veteran point guard Ricky Rubio, while Kevin Love has been healthy for most of the season after battling injuries for the past two campaigns.

Ben Simmons demanded a trade from the 76ers after pointed comments from teammate Joel Embiid in the wake of last season's playoffs. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons demanded a trade from the 76ers after pointed comments from teammate Joel Embiid in the wake of last season's playoffs. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The loss of guard Collin Sexton with a season ending injury has been covered up by the improvement from Darius Garland, while the size and defence of Simmons could fit will in Cleveland.

"It will be interesting to see if Cleveland re-engages. They are built for success in the long-term, and he fits into the timeline of that team," Wojnarowski said.

Simmons has not played an NBA game this season after refusing to attend the team's training camp over the off-season.

The 25-year-old had cited mental health concerns as the main reason why he is sitting out, coming to an arrangement with the 76ers who withheld part of his salary due to his training camp no-show.

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