Sixers: 3 possible Ben Simmons trades with Kings

Ben Simmons, Sixers Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
Ben Simmons, Sixers Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings have loomed large in the Ben Simmons rumor mill lately, despite a reported reluctance to trade 23-year-old De’Aaron Fox. While the Kings lack elite assets outside of Fox, there’s enough smoke to consider the possible avenues to a deal with Sacramento.

Should the Kings eventually budge on their Fox declaration, then it’s simple enough — the Sixers shouldn’t need much more than Fox to swipe right on an offer. If Sacramento does indeed commit to Fox and Simmons as a duo, then it may take a little more creativity.

So, let’s get creative.

3 possible Ben Simmons trades between Sixers & Kings: The simple swap

Well, would ya look at that. If the Kings budge on Fox — and believe me, a lot of the early posturing will dissipate as negotiations intensify — then there’s plenty to suggest this swap would be of mutual benefit. Sacramento gets a defensive backbone, while maintaining its transition offense and replacing one prolific playmaker with another. The Sixers get a more traditional point guard to man the offense next to Joel Embiid.

Fox does not shoot as well as, say, CJ McCollum, but he’s young and attempted over five 3s per game last season — high enough volume to keep the defense engaged. He’s also the fastest end-to-end player in the NBA, with a lightning-quick first step and a fearlessness attacking the rim that Philadelphia has notoriously lacked with Simmons.

We have seen Fox hit big shots and carry Sacramento down the stretch of games. Another late-game shot-maker to pair with Embiid — and more importantly, a creator whose crunch-time demeanor doesn’t mirror that of a deer in headlights — would drastically improve the Sixers’ offensive outlook come playoff time.

In a vacuum, Fox is probably a slight talent downgrade from Simmons, who has three All-Star appearances, an All-NBA nod, and two All-Defensive teams on his record. That said, the fit is too problematic, and there’s reason to suspect Simmons’ trend of regressing in the playoffs will continue. That said, Simmons puts Sacramento closer to the eight-seed than Fox, and his defense would drastically elevate the weakest aspect of the Kings’ roster.