It appears that at least one Eastern Conference team has made an offer for Ben Simmons.
Trade rumors have been swirling around Simmons since the 76ers’ early exit in the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals at the hands of the Hawks.
And the latest buzz is that the Pacers have pursued Simmons.
Indiana made an offer consisting of point guard Malcolm Brogdon and a first-round pick for Simmons, according to Jason Dumas of KRON4 News and Bleacher Report. But their advances were rebuffed as the Sixers will only trade Simmons “for an All-Star caliber player.”
The Sixers have already fielded offers for Ben Simmons but continue to hold a stance that they will only trade him for an all-star caliber player. They most recently turned down a deal with the Pacers that included Malcolm Brogdon and a 1st round pick.
— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) July 2, 2021
Brogdon is certainly no slouch. The Pacers’ starting point guard averaged a career-high 21.2 points last season while adding 5.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. The 2016-17 Rookie of the Year has shot 46.6 percent on field goals and 38.6 percent from 3-point range during his career.
Simmons is no where near the caliber of long-range shooter that Brogdon is, as he has only hit 14.7 percent of his career 3-point shots on just 34 attempts. However, Simmons is an elite defender and made the NBA’s All-Defensive first team for his efforts during the 2020-21 season. His 6-11 size and quick hands (1.7 steals per game career) make him uniquely difficult to deal with at the point guard spot.
On paper, Brogdon and a first may not look like a bad swap for the Sixers and would certainly upgrade their floor spacing. Still, Brogdon, 28, is four years older than Simmons, 24, and has yet to make an All-Star Game. So, he doesn’t quite check all the boxes that Philly is looking to fill.
Besides, Doc Rivers has been adamant that the Sixers are going to work on Simmons’ shooting issues and seems to believe in the team’s starting point guard.
“I know exactly what we want to do,” Rivers said, per Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer . “I’m positive in Ben. I’m very bullish in Ben still, but there is work, and Ben will be willing to do it.”