According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers have legit mutual interest in making a trade for Ben Simmons. The long-lasting poker-faced 76ers President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey, has finally taken down his guard and has his sights on one key individual.
“The team has engaged in ongoing discussions with the Detroit Pistons to acquire [Jerami] Grant, another forward, a young player, and a draft pick in exchange for Simmons, league sources said.”
Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Additionally, Kelly Olynk and Saddiq Bey were also viewed as valuable bargaining chips for Morey to try and acquire if a deal did transpire. However, while the 76ers are not necessarily drowning without Simmons as they hold a 10-8 record, they have not been shy in publicizing they want another high-profile player in replacement to make an instant run at a title while injury prone MVP candidate, Joel Embiid, is still in his prime.
"A person close to the Sixers said the team would want a more high-profile player than Grant in exchange for Simmons," Pompey writes. "The source added that the team hasn’t spoken to the Pistons lately."
However, if a deal is to be done by the trade deadline, there is a 0.000000000001% chance another franchise will trade their All-NBA potential player for Simmons without at least seeing him make a return to the floor. I only kept a fraction of a chance in case the Nets wash their hands with Kyrie Irving or Sacramento decide to trade their franchise player for the gazilionth time in their prestigious history. You never know...
But with these reports in the air, some say Daryl Morey is a delusional schizophrenic who believes in things that have no basis in reality. Or, in other words, “those discussions were not just old and presently inactive, they were of little interest to the Sixers”.
Reportedly, this is for three reasons. The first being the too similar of a fit between Tobias Harris and Jerami Grant. Secondly, Jerami Grant’s contract; being in his second year of a three-year, $60 million contract is not flexible enough to move seamlessly if it is not working. The last and most repeatedly obvious is that the 76ers are “after a higher caliber of player than Grant represents.”
Most people have heard the interview of Morey on 97.5 The Fanatic's Mike Missanelli, claiming, “You’re going to think I’m kidding, I’m not, this could take four years…we’re in the prime of Joel’s career…this is not a day to day [issue }]. Every day, we are going to expect Ben Simmons to be back here, or we trade him for a difference maker.”
But surely he does not actually believe that, or is it just shooting for the moon to land on the stars?
There are always going to be cons to a trade. Especially one as complicated as sending away an All-NBA player who, by the day, intentionally plummets his stock by refusing to take part in training and games. That’s not even mentioning his refusal to work on his shot which has led to some embarrassing playoff collapses over the years. But let's look at everything that makes the Pistons the perfect trade partner.
They’re a floating team. They are not a team too good to take this obvious risk or a team too bad to just stand patient and keep tanking. That’s because they seem to have their guy in Cade Cunningham, who could learn a lot from a player with a similar build and set of skills. Cade's shooting and Be's athleticismn is where the comparison dips, but having a DPOY candidate is always a great mentor to have for a potential future cornerstone - even if it only lasts the remaining four years of Simmons’ contract.
Besides Cade, who has yet to prove himself, the Pistons have not had a marquee talent since they signed Chauncey Billups in ‘03. Sheed was not exactly it, neither was Drummond, Middleton’s talent was never actualized, and although Griffin pulled All-NBA honors, his ceiling was capped by age and injuries.
Detroit is desperate for some basketball life. It’s an uncomfortable conversation, but someone has to tell Morey that the night is getting late, and if he wants to land a fish while he still can, only the desperate will listen.