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The Philadelphia 76ers are still searching for a new home for disgruntled All-Star forward Ben Simmons, and their efforts on that front will likely increase as February’s trade deadline draws closer. Several teams have expressed interest, but the Sixers continue to hold an extremely high asking price for Simmons, who finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season.
One team to keep an eye on as trade talks intensify is the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Cavs have a young core that Simmons would fit well with, and for that reason, they could look to make a deal. Here’s what Wojnarowski had to say about the situation during a recent appearance on NBA Countdown:
Ben Simmons in Philadelphia, I think you’ll start to see the 76ers re-engage teams. Certainly he is no closer to agreeing to come back to play with the Sixers this season, and they don’t have any real traction on a trade yet… But here’s an interesting team to watch: the Cleveland Cavaliers, who before they went on this really incredible start to the season, had been engaged with Philly on Simmons. They’ve got some really intriguing assets, either in a straight deal or perhaps a three- or four-team deal. It was reported earlier J.B. Bickerstaff agreed to a new extension today through 2026-27. This is a team in Cleveland that’s just a game out of third place.
Philly’s a team right now, in that bunched up East, who could be out of the play-in with a couple of losses, the way it’s bunched up. So expect Philly to start talking more with teams as we get closer to that Feb. 10 deadline, and it will be interesting to see if Cleveland re-engages as a team that I think’s built for long-term success with all their young players. Ben Simmons is only 25 years old; he does fit into the timeline of that team.
It remains to be seen if the Cavs can put together an offer that the Sixers would find intriguing enough to move on from the former top overall pick, but if not they could always look to get a third — or fourth — team involved, as Wojnarowski suggested. In fact, it seems somewhat unlikely that the Cavs would be able to put together an attractive-enough deal without getting another team involved.
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Collin Sexton is a player who has been mentioned as an attractive asset in a return for Simmons, but he’s sidelined for the remainder of the season after knee surgery, so he won’t be able to help the Sixers in the short team. Plus, given how well they’ve played this season, it seems unlikely that the Cavs would be willing to trade either Darius Garland or Evan Mobley, and outside of them, there’s no one on Cleveland’s roster that would really move the needle for Philadelphia. So, if Cleveland’s interest in Simmons is genuine, they should start pondering some potential multi-team trades.