Can Kings field competitive Ben Simmons trade offer to 76ers?

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With Simmons wanting out, can Kings make competitive offer? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Ben Simmons wants out. 

That has been a continuing message, but the volume just got turned up. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the 25-year-old forward made it clear to the Sixers brass that he wants out.

"In a meeting with the 76ers last week in Los Angeles, Simmons told co-managing partner Josh Harris, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brans and coach Doc Rivers that he no longer wants to remain a Sixers, according to multiple sources," Pompey wrote. 

According to Pompey, Simmons will not report to training camp later this month, putting his future in Philly completely in doubt. 

The Kings have been all in on Simmons for a while. This would be the ground-shaking move that general manager Monte McNair has been searching for, but with training camp set to start in a little less than a month, the news on a potential trade has gone silent. 

Philadelphia is trying to find leverage in a situation and so far, they are struggling to find the right dance partner that is willing to give up the assets they are looking for. That leverage is getting weaker by the day.

According to multiple reports, they are searching for a return similar to what the Houston Rockets received for James Harden, even though they weren’t able to acquire Harden in a swap for Simmons last summer and that was before Simmons’ meltdown in the playoffs and the subsequent fallout.

From Joel Embiid to Doc Rivers to Danny Green, the Sixers took turns throwing Simmons under the bus following the team’s flameout in the postseason. It wasn’t a pretty scene, which is why it is likely that Simmons finds him a new home during the offseason. 

With the 25-year-old still in limbo, Green, one of the leaders in Philadelphia, went on the latest edition of The Crossover podcast with Howard Beck for a chat. Simmons’ future with the team came up on more than one occasion.

“We need him,” Green told Beck in a ranging discussion. “We’re all just trying to get all on board and get everything in the past, leave it in the past, and move forward with next season. But we don’t know where that’s at with the organization or where he’s at with it.”

Green said that he and Simmons have exchanged texts, but on basics, like wishing each other happy birthday. It didn’t sound like the two had connected in a meaningful way to mend fences. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t time or that Simmons won’t show up with his sneakers once camp starts.

“I’m going with the mindset that he’s going to be with us and we need him,” Green said. “Just trying to get him on board. That’s the mentality I have and hopefully, he has the same one.”

When Beck dug deeper into Simmons potential exit from the team, going as far as to call his departure “inevitable” and “a given,” Green’s tone changed slightly.

“He’s gone, so that changes a lot, not just offensively, but defensively as well for me,” Green said. “It depends on what we get back in return.”

Green was quick to point out that he and his teammates considered Simmons the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year last season, even though the award went to Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. 

While Simmons struggled offensively, he made the NBA’s All-Defensive first team in each of the last two seasons. He can defend 1-5 at an elite level and if he’s not back in Philly this season, they have some major adjustments to make.

Sacramento has been attached to almost every potential available player throughout the offseason. Whether they can pry Simmons out of Philadelphia is unknown at this time, but the 25-year-old fits the profile of what they are looking for.

He’s an elite defender, low usage offensive player and someone who can get out and run the floor. His inability to shoot the 3-point shot is a concern, but his versatility and the fact that he’s locked into a four-year contract is appealing, even if he’s owed just under $147 million over that time. 

Morey has asked for a king's ransom for Simmons, but the clock is running out on the offseason. He can hold onto the disgruntled forward and hope that fences can be mended or that a better deal comes along down the road, but Philly has a lot riding on the upcoming season and going in with a major distraction is a questionable decision.

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The draft and free agency are over at this point. The Sixers need to find a deal that makes sense and the Kings still need to rebalance their roster. If McNair hasn't made his last best offer for Simmons, it’s probably time to make one more call and see if something can be worked out.