Proposed Trade Sends Ex-Sixer Ben Simmons to New East Rival

heavy.com 41 days ago
Ben Simmons, Bam Adebayo
Former Sixers guard Ben Simmons battles for a rebound against Miami's Bam Adebayo in 2018.

The Brooklyn Nets have one of the bigger messes in professional sports on their hands these days. And while Ben Simmons might not be at the center of that unpredictable storm, the former Philadelphia 76er has come up.

Simmons has been mentioned as a potential trade target due to his “Designated Rookie” extension. That means the Nets might have to include Simmons as a pot sweetener in an outgoing Kevin Durant deal. The Athletic’s John Hollinger compiled a list of five Durant trade scenarios, including a “Miami megadeal” where the Heat sends out Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, two unprotected firsts (2023 and 2028) and three picks pick swaps (2024, 2027, and 2029) for Durant, Simmons and Seth Curry.

The Heat probably don’t want to give up Adebayo – and Jimmy Butler likely wouldn’t welcome Simmons with open arms – but it could be Miami’s only straight path to Durant. Hollinger wrote:

It still seems tricky. The Heat might argue they don’t need to include this much draft equity, and would surely look for scenarios to avoid including Adebayo at all. Since those scenarios basically don’t exist, it might be a conversation-ender. Even if it wasn’t, Simmons would become a guy the Heat had to count on — yikes — and they wouldn’t have a center. But they would have Kevin Durant.

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Simmons Deletes Instagram Amid Trade Rumors

Leave it to Simmons to stir the pot, whether it was by accident or on purpose. The three-time All-Star guard deactivated his Instagram account on July 3 which only fueled speculation about his future in Brooklyn. The timing of it coincided with Durant’s formal request for a trade, along with a report suggesting Kyrie Irving might be headed out to the Los Angeles Lakers. Simmons’ Twitter account remains active, although he hasn’t posted anything since June 7.

The expectation from the Nets, at least what they have expressed publicly, is that Simmons is a “big, big part” of their long-term plans. Brooklyn made the trade for Simmons because they felt his skillset best complemented Durant and Irving. They thought that combination of talent made them a championship contender. Back problems and mental health issues halted the plan.

“He needs to be in here, smell the gym again, around his friends, around his family, around to be quite frank and participate in this,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said, via CBS Sports, “and let us help him build a culture together, build up together, build him up, build him back up.”

Sixers Begin Summer League Play in Utah

Meanwhile, the Sixers will begin play in the Salt Lake City Summer League on July 5 at 7 p.m. against the Memphis Grizzlies. The team announced their 17-man roster for that and the Las Vegas Summer League last week.

Paul Reed, Jaden Springer, Trevelin Queen, Charles Bassey, Julian Champagnie, and Isaiah Joe headline the roster. Here is the upcoming schedule of summer games:

Salt Lake City Summer League

  • July 5: Sixers vs. Grizzlies, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • July 6: Sixers vs. Jazz, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • July 7: Sixers vs. Thunder, 6 p.m. ET (NBA TV)

Las Vegas Summer League

  • July 9: Sixers vs. Raptors, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV)
  • July 10: Sixers vs. Nets, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV)
  • July 13: Sixers vs. Heat, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
  • July 15: Sixers vs. Nuggets, 6 p.m. ET (NBA TV)

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