NBA heavyweights emerge as suitors for Ben Simmons trade

The Boston Celtics have shown interest in a trade for Ben Simmons.
Ben Simmons could potentially be traded to the Boston Celtics, after the 76ers' Eastern Conference rivals reportedly expressed interest in the three-time All-Star. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

A surprise suitor for a potential Ben Simmons trade has emerged, with the Boston Celtics reportedly interested in the disgruntled Australian all-star.

According to The Athletic, discussions between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Celtics have been 'fluid with no traction as of yet'.

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The report said the 76ers were likely to want all-star wing Jaylen Brown back in the deal, making any trade between the Eastern Conference playoff rivals likely to take a while to develop.

Simmons, a three-time All-Star, has yet to play for the 76ers this season.

The team reportedly began fining him his $US360,000 ($A486,000) match fees last Friday for each contest he misses.

Philadelphia and Simmons were at loggerheads again over Simmons' reluctance with mental health specialists provided by the team, instead preferring outside help.

He has since changed his stance, agreeing to meet with team staff.

Simmons has four years and $US147 million ($A198 million) left on his five-year contract. He has averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists in 275 games since Philadelphia drafted him No.1 overall in 2016 — two spots ahead of Brown.

Brown, 25, made his first All-Star team last season and is averaging a career-high 25.6 points through eight games this season. He is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The Sixers had been "testing the validity of Simmons’ pursuit of mental health assistance," since he reportedly didn't give the team updates on his progress, but now Simmons has agreed to meet with a team-recommended specialist to discuss mental health concerns, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The biggest issue between Simmons and the Sixers has been communication, and that continues to be the problem.

According to Charania, Simmons didn't, and possibly still doesn't, feel comfortable working with any of the mental health professionals on the Sixers' staff, so he was seeking help from the outside, which he's allowed to do.

The Sixers were reportedly looking for information on Simmons' progress, and he reportedly gave them the names of the people he's working with, but that was all.

His doctors weren't able to give any information to the Sixers without Simmons' express permission, which he reportedly didn't give.

Mills helps Nets break Canada curse in NBA

Patty Mills has earned admission into Blake Griffin's "Blue Collar Boys" club as their Brooklyn Nets broke a six-year NBA losing streak in Canada.

The Nets' 116-103 defeat of the Toronto Raptors was their fifth straight victory, moving Steve Nash's men to 7-3 and second in the Eastern Conference behind Philadelphia (8-2).

Not since 2015 had the Nets beaten the Raptors over the border, Mills' 13 points again handy as they broke a run of 10 straight losses in Canada.

Kevin Durant (31 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) and James Harden (28 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) were in ominous form, scoring at will in the second half to peg back an early deficit.

Patty Mills has been instrumental in helping the Brooklyn Nets get the season off to a strong start. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Patty Mills has been instrumental in helping the Brooklyn Nets get the season off to a strong start. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Forward Blake Griffin, who last season with Joe Harris instigated a "hard-hat celebration" to recognise tough plays, reserved his praise for Boomers star Mills post-game though.

After drawing fouls with some hard-nosed defence in their previous game, Griffin had said Mills' submitted his membership to the "Blue Collar Boys".

"As of today, Patty Mills is officially in the Blue Collar Boys," Griffin said when quizzed of the submission post-game.

"Give it to Patty and it's a win for all of Australia as well."

He joked that Durant still "has to jump through a few hoops" to join them.

It's a sign the high-profile outfit is clicking even without Kyrie Irving, who remains unavailable until he receives his COVID-19 vaccination.

With AAP/Yahoo Sport US

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