Once again, there is Ben Simmons trade chatter flaring up with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors.
According to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Raptors and other teams, including the Minnesota Timberwolves, have had “expansive discussions” surrounding Simmons.
With it appearing more likely that Simmons’ time is coming to an end in Philly, the next big question is where he ends up?
As previously mentioned, the Raptors have expressed interest, but some previous demands made by the 76ers were laughable at best. (Lowry, VanVleet, Anunoby and Barnes. Really?)
So, trying to find something that doesn’t overpay, here is a potential move that can land Simmons north of the border:
Raptors receive: Ben Simmons.
76ers receive: Goran Dragic, Chris Boucher, two lottery-protected first-round picks that, if not conveyed, turn into three second-round picks.
From the Raptors side, this deal looks terrific. Rolling out a lineup featuring Anunoby, Barnes, and Simmons would be fearsome defensively. While two of those three have some problems with outside shooting, the Raptors development team have proven to help young players grow and develop their games. (See VanVleet and Siakam for reference)
From the 76ers side of this deal, I would only take this if Simmons makes it abundantly clear that he no longer wants to play in Philly. Reports are leaning that direction but making it public would take this to a whole new level.
I like Dragic for the 76ers as they have needed some better point guard play (One of the many reasons they tried to acquire Lowry this past season). I also like the addition of Chris Boucher. He has proven to be an excellent rim protector and has developed a nice outside stroke to his game.
The one problem for the Raptors in this trade is the number of guards they have. VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr figure to be significant parts of the Raps rotation this season. However, Simmons can also play off-ball and rely more on his defence than his scoring.
In my opinion, I believe that Simmons is going to Minnesota, I feel like management there feels the need to act or risk losing Karl-Anthony Towns in free agency in a couple of seasons.
While this Raptors trade will surely not happen, it is interesting top see how this plays out as the NBA season tips off in less than two months.