Pacers' Ben Simmons trade pursuit likely ends with Malcolm Brogdon move

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One Eastern Conference team likely exits Simmons trade talk originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

A number of teams have been connected to the Ben Simmons trade saga all summer, and as recently as last week there were rumblings of at least nine teams still talking with the Sixers about a potential deal.

Now, it seems we can prune the list a smidge.

The Pacers agreed to a two-year extension with Malcolm Brogdon on Monday worth $45 million, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, ending the likelihood that Indiana will reach a deal with the Sixers for Simmons.

Reports emerged in the last couple weeks of Indiana aggressively pushing for a Simmons deal, one that was ostensibly centered around Brogdon and/or Caris LeVert, though everything that came out after the initial reports indicates that the Pacers were behind those reports and were the ones offering players, not the Sixers requesting those players.

With Brogdon locked up for four years, the Pacers are now more than likely out of the talks: he isn't allowed to be traded this year, per NBA rules.

There's still the possibility of the Pacers floating LeVert, another player, and a bushel of picks, but I don't see Daryl Morey being moved by that offer.

That leaves teams like the Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Raptors, and Spurs at the head of the Simmons pursuit pack. I still like the Cavaliers' and Spurs' potential offers the best: young talent and draft picks, which you can either re-package for a big move or try to quickly turn into winning pieces.

The Sixers start the actual season in two days, and we'll have real actual basketball to talk about instead of trade machine fantasies. What a life.