At this point, we have to seriously consider the fact the 76ers are pulling the biggest prank in NBA history. There's no other explanation for the trade packages they are trying to get for Ben Simmons. Before last night's Draft, we had several reports saying the same thing, something we all knew for a while - Ben Simmons played his last game as a Sixer.
Woj also tweeted about this, saying the Sixers were hoping to move Simmons before or during the Draft because “Draft night is always an ideal vehicle for a deal.” ESPN's insider noted that talks could “continue into summer,” and that turned out to be the understatement of the year. We know Daryl Morey has a reputation for making a lot of calls and offering all sorts of wild trade packages. Woj said the Sixers are, bless them, looking for a "James Harden-type package.” and still, Daryl Morey outdid himself. Here are some of the leaked trade requests he made for a player who's afraid to have the ball in the fourth quarter, can't shoot, fired a successful shooting coach to hire his brother, and is ghosting the team.
Warriors - Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, the No. 7 and No.14 picks in last night's Draft, along with two future first-rounders
Any major Warriors trade will include Wiggins for salary matching purposes. The Warriors are more bullish on him than the rest of the league, but it can be said he re-established himself as a good NBA starter - that's an improvement from this Timberwolves days. He was a no.1 pick, but we know Wiggins is not that caliber of a player. Wiseman is similarly a "could be" more than an "is," but there's still a lot of upside in the no.2 pick from last year. Add to that this year's 7 and 14, AND two future first-rounders, and you get to 4 lottery picks, and possibly two more (depending on which picks were talked about and what the protections were.)
Apart from Steph and Klay (knock on wood), the Warriors need spacing. If they brought Simmons in, it would make that issue that much worse. So to ask Golden State to use its entire asset base to create an even bigger problem is insane. The absurdity of the proposal is best described with Keith Pompey's last sentence in the report.
The Warriors quickly turned down the offer.
Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and the fourth pick in tonight’s draft
We know the 76ers have been pursuing Lowry for a while now. VanVleet is a proven playoff player, OG Anunoby is one of the most underrated defenders in the NBA - an actual 3 and D guy playing the most coveted position in the league, and the 4th pick in this year's draft is supposed to get you a legit starter if not an All-Star. All that for Ben Simmons and salary filler?
While there's still a chance Lowry stays in Toronto, it's not probable. The Raptors will still be competitive with VanVleet, Anunoby, Siakam, and their 4th selection Scottie Barnes. If they were to trade the foundation of the future, that would mean the Raptors are blowing everything up and doing a full rebuild. What would they do with Simmons, Siakam, and whoever's left?
Cleveland Cavaliers - every young player the Cavs value plus multiple first-round picks
We don't know all the specifics here, but when Cleveland rejects a chance to get a player with Simoons' upside, you know the ask was too much. Unless they are born in Akron, good players don't want to play in Cleveland. Unlike Golden State and Toronto, I could see the Cavs taking a swing on Simmons as their chances of getting a guy of his potential, who's under contract for the next 5 years, is very unlikely. The fact they didn't means Morey is asking for way too much.
Look, the Warriors and Raptors suggestions were just outlandish. But when the Cavs say no, that's the market letting you know it's time for a reality check. We all may be suffering from recency bias, and the meltdown Simmons had in the Playoffs is clouding all the things he's great at. But even if that's the case, Simmons can't get you a "Harden-type package."
Several things are putting the Sixers in a position of weakness - Simmons' meltdown in the Playoffs, the fact we all know Simmons and the Sixers want him out of Philly, and the fact the teams that may give a lot for the Australian player don't have players that can help the 76ers compete right now.
Sure, you possibly could get multiple players and picks from Orlando or Sacramento, but then you need to reset your title window a few years down the road. The combination of his shooting problems AND the fact he's shown no professionalism in addressing that issue makes Simmons a distressed asset, despite all the potential, speed, and defensive capabilities he has.
The man is at "let's get him out of Shaq at the free throws" levels, and they're asking for a James Harden-type package? Good luck.