NBA trade rumors: Are the Sixers tying Tobias Harris to trade talks with Ben Simmons?

With just under a month to go until the 2022 NBA trade deadline, it’s hard to say yet if the league is set for an active, trade-rich period or if everyone is ready to be disappointed with the changes. rumors. But one thing is for sure – Ben Simmons continues to be one of the biggest names in the business, and he’s likely to draw half the league into his vortex, including his Sixers teammates.

On Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Spears got together to discuss a number of topics on the Hoop Collective podcast, including Simmons’ current market and the recent Hawks rumors we covered on Monday. And the duo have long delved into a storyline that has yet to emerge at this point, one in which Philadelphia buys Tobias Harris as part of the deal. For the full background:

LANCES: I think that’s long, and it’s not because of Ben, it’s because I hear they want to include Tobias Harris.

WINDY: Me too

LANCES: That’s a lot of money, man. So it’s hard enough to swap Ben Simmons, but I can only imagine Travis [Schlenk] get that call from Daryl Morey like, wait wait wait, can we just talk to you about Ben? Why are you trying to pass me Tobias?

WINDHORST: That’s the word out there, because they can’t necessarily get an All-Star they want back right now, that while the Sixers continued their talks, they spoke to the teams about the exchange of Tobias and Ben. Those $ 72 million, which means you would need around $ 56 million to trade to get there, you would have to trade a minimum of $ 56 million to trade for these two types. You can tell yourself, that’s what I thought to myself, Tobias isn’t having a great season, and I think part of it is because he doesn’t have Ben.

They made their way with guys who are not really leaders. I know Tyrese Maxey has had a great year and people are excited about him, but he’s not a real playmaker. [Harris is] make good numbers, but his shot is going down, and he just hasn’t had the same impact. So I ask the question Spears, why would they want to do this? Why, Tobias Harris is a good player, he probably has too high a contract, but he’s a good player, why would they want to do that?

LANCES: The bottom line I understand is that Atlanta was interested until they brought up Tobias’s name. [ESPN]

There is more to do, but let’s start by unpacking this part. The Sixers have denied that they actively buy Tobias Harris every time the suggestion has been made since last June, each time reaffirming his importance to their team, dressing room etc. They have continued to do so in recent weeks, although the most important thing to note about Philadelphia’s position is that there is only one untouchable player on this list. Joel Embiid is the organization’s North Star, and any movement they make will be centered on how they can best support him, no matter who or what needs to be moved for that to happen.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Harris is grounded in Simmons in all of their trade negotiations. Based on recent conversations, four of the teams most actively interested in Simmons are the Kings, Hawks, Timberwolves and Pacers. At least three of those teams (Sacramento, Atlanta, Indiana) have potential trade packages that by default feature or must involve an attacker who is redundant with Harris in Philadelphia.

For example, as we reported this weekend, if the Sixers made a deal with the Kings (and the Kings really made their young guards available), Philadelphia would only be interested in Kings guard DeAaron Fox in as a player going back to a third team to get what they want. Direct deals would highlight Tyrese Haliburton, which would mean Kings forward Harrison Barnes is more likely to be involved just to make the money work, as Haliburton is on a much cheaper rookie deal than Fox.

The Atlanta example is more recent and perhaps more relevant. John Collins recently voiced his displeasure in the press and is said to be unhappy, with Shams Charania reporting on Monday that he was “increasingly frustrated” with his role with the Hawks. This makes him a central figure in any potential business talks, and as we wrote here on Monday, the acquisition of Collins would almost certainly require a transfer from Harris, whether as part of a deal or from a corresponding movement.

The problem with the rumor as a whole? It flies in the face of the Sixers’ dominance for the past six months or so. Ben Simmons is on the list due to their desire to maximize the return on their disgruntled star if they are moving it this year. With Harris’ value perhaps lowest during his tenure with the Sixers, making his inclusion a requirement in any deal with Simmons would be, to say the least, a setback.

If a multi-team build can be put in place where they move Harris and maximize the return to Simmons in the same breath, that would definitely be considered. But it’s a function of leaving no stone unturned, rather than the Sixers trying to force a mega-trade before the deadline.

To that end, Windhorst and Spears’ discussion continued after a commercial break, with Windhorst trying to elicit response from Why the Sixers could do it. And to make sure the image is completely painted, here’s a full snapshot of what Windhorst is saying. other the leaders believe such a rumor:

WINDHORST: So I asked the question, why would they seek to get rid of Tobias Harris, and the answer I got, what the leaders think, and look, Daryl might be playing some kind of game. When Daryl is trying to do something, you still have to look four steps down. Sometimes you can’t even see what he’s trying to do. Executives think one of their options isn’t the thing they’re most likely to do, but one of their options is wanting to run to James Harden next summer. Harden can opt out of his contract he chose not to extend, obviously there’s the connection to Daryl Morey, they tried to get him traded last year. I don’t know if he would leave the Nets. By the way, even if you got rid of these two guys you would still take money back, it wouldn’t necessarily mean you could have enough money, I think James Harden’s figure is around 48million. dollars.

It makes sense, but it’s difficult. There are people in the league, people in the NBA think that one of the options – I’m going to say this very clearly because I guarantee this will be aggregated, I want to be very clear in my words, some executives in the NBA believe one of the endgames – not necessarily going to happen or what their preference is – some NBA executives believe one of Ben Simmons’ playoffs is that he was traded for James Harden in a signing and exchange contract next summer. [ESPN]

Would the Sixers be interested in a Harden-level player next to Joel Embiid? Of this there is no doubt. Despite a tough start to the year, Harden rallied over the past month to get closer to the player the Sixers were chasing when they offered Simmons and more for him last season. There are still concerns about him in the short to medium term, but at his best, Harden is still capable of special performances, switching between scoring and playing as the game warrants.

But offload Harris before the deadline, as part of a deal with Simmons, in a bid to ultimately Harden’s sign in free will would be total madness. This is the kind of move teams do when they have nothing going for them right now, a 2009 Knicks-type move, where you kick the rest of the year in the hope that you can field some really expensive moves for. the off-season. There’s no indication the Sixers are at this stage, and if anything, Embiid’s dominance gave them the opposite motivation. They are urged to support Embiid here and now as he plays at MVP level and pushes the Sixers higher up the Eastern Conference rankings every day.

If the deadline comes and goes and the Sixers reach the point where Harden is not just a possibility but in the cards this summer, moving Harris’ contract to facilitate such a move is something that can be done on it. -field. The Sixers control most of their own picks, young and cost-controlled talent, and a superstar to serve as running mate with any big name acquisition. Selling in January or February with nothing more than hope in the brain would not only be foolish, but completely unnecessary, as recent history has shown that you can move virtually any contract if and when you need to. as long as you encourage the team on the other side of the case.

None of this means a Harris related deal or a Harris and The Simmons deal is expected to be ruled out before the deadline. Dating back to the preseason, sources for the team have suggested that the front office is flexible about what Simmons’ return looks like as long as a deal makes them better and / or gives them better championship chances at home. ‘to come up. The math is based on a number of factors, from current production to the financial flexibility to accommodate Embiid, which is why their preferences for Sacramento have been so telling. Fox has the biggest numbers, but he also has the biggest contract, more overlap with Tyrese Maxey and more red flags next to Embiid than Haliburton has.

But as we’ve said several times recently, there’s no guarantee the Sixers will move Simmons before the deadline, let alone Simmons and Harris as part of a multi-team monstrosity. The only thing you can be sure of is that Morey will entertain any theory package that makes the team better around Embiid and gives the big man the best possible chance of leading Philly to a title. Until February 10, expect to hear a lot of noise coming from the Camden Training Center.

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