While speculation has been swirling throughout the offseason, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported a bombshell on Tuesday with news that Simmons intends to never play for the team again and that he will skip training camp. Wojnarowski noted that Simmons has not spoken to the team since August and that they are well aware of his desire to play elsewhere next season and beyond. This situation has gotten as ugly as possible, and the 76ers will have to face the music and trade Simmons sooner rather than later.
The 76ers clearly have not found an offer to their liking for the 25-year-old All-Star, and they certainly do not have much leverage after this recent news. General manager Daryl Morey has been known to hold a stiff asking price, which will only add more tension to this ongoing back and forth between Simmons and the 76ers. With that being said, here are five players they are the likeliest to get in return in any deal for Simmons if they do eventually trade him.
Philadelphia 76ers: 5 players they are likeliest to get in a Ben Simmons trade – Malik Beasley
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been among the teams most actively mentioned in Simmons rumors, but the asking price is seemingly too steep.
The Athletic’s John Krawczynski and Danny Leroux (subscription required) recently reported that while the Wolves hold interest in a Simmons trade, they are reluctant to part ways with several core pieces on their roster to get him. That includes franchise cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns along with Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell. That eliminates Minnesota’s top three players, which might make it hard to get any interest from Philadelphia to get the wheels turning on a deal.
If a deal between these two teams will eventually happen, it will likely be centered around sending guard Malik Beasley to Philadelphia. While Beasley is not a star-studded name, he has shown glimpses of star potential since being traded to Minnesota last season. In 51 appearances with the franchise, Beasley has averaged 19.9 points on .449/.406/.824 shooting splits, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per contest. Making approximately $15 million annually over the next three years, Beasley is Minnesota’s best trade chip financially aside from their trio.
For Philadelphia, Beasley could slide into the starting five and immediately provide a boost on the offensive end with his scoring. As evidenced by his aforementioned splits, the guard can score the ball at a high level, particularly from behind the arc, which would help him transition seamlessly into this starting five in Philadelphia. There would have to be some additional pieces included on Minnesota’s end to get Morey to even pick up the phone, but Beasley is a player that could very well be on his way to Philadelphia sometime soon.