The 76ers first preseason game has come and gone but All-Star point guard Ben Simmons has still not reported to the team in Philadelphia. The 25-year-old has remained steadfast in his desire to be traded, while the organization remains determined to get a sizable haul in return if they can find a team to strike a deal with.
A handful of clubs have inquired about acquiring Simmons, but haven’t broken through in negotiations with Sixers general manager Daryl Morey. However, part of one team’s potential offer trickled out in a report on Tuesday morning.
According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Indiana Pacers have spoken to the 76ers about executing a trade for Simmons in recent days. Among the players that were mentioned in those reported communications was talented scoring point guard Caris LeVert.
LeVert, 27, was traded to the Pacers by the Nets just last year, as a part of the blockbuster deal that sent James Harden to Brooklyn. Simmons was previously mentioned as a potential trade piece for Harden at one point last season, so he and the Indiana point guard are actually connected in that respect.
A few notes on Ben Simmons, including SAC’s interest & how the situation in Philly could impact the local teams: https://t.co/XMlTxCVl2h
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 5, 2021
The Pacers are among the teams who have talked to the 76ers about a potential Ben Simmons trade, per @IanBegley
“Caris LeVert was among the players brought up in those communications.” pic.twitter.com/dD9DmUopTA
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 5, 2021
LeVert has his 2020-21 season nearly go off the rails after an MRI following his trade to the Pacers revealed a small mass on his left kidney. Thankfully, he was able to receive treatment and make his debut in Indiana a few months later.
The 6-foot-6, score-first point guard impressed for the Pacers in 35 starts, averaging 20.7 points, 4.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. Even so, Indiana still has former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon as a point guard on the roster and needs to upgrade defensively, so a Simmons-LeVert trade could benefit the organization in that regard.
In return, the 76ers would receive a strong shot creator that can score at will against NBA defenses. LeVert only shot 32.6 percent from three-point land last year, but should also be able to space the floor in Philadelphia for big man Joel Embiid.
The Pacers offer including LeVert may not entice the 76ers enough to bite, but the organization is reaching a point of no return in the Simmons saga. The 25-year-old point guard will start to lose roughly $360,000 per game missed, which should’ve began with Philadelphia’s preseason loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.
With the start of the regular season just two weeks away, the Sixers and Simmons would both benefit from finding some sort of compromise soon.
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