Trade market for Ben Simmons ‘gathering momentum’ as Sixers seek star in return

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The trade market for Ben Simmons is heating up. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Philadelphia 76ers’ conversations surrounding their star are “gathering momentum” and that the Sixers are looking to land a “top-25 player” in a trade.

Wojnarowski keenly notes that the league calendar plays a part in Philadelphia’s discussions gaining traction, as many of the players signed this past offseason will now be allowed to be moved in trades. One key player that will be unavailable, per Wojnarowski, is Damian Lillard, as the Portland Trail Blazers reportedly have no desire to move him.

The imminent Simmons trade has loomed over the Sixers all season as they dealt with a load of injuries on their way to posting a 14-12 record so far. Sending away their three-time All-Star and getting back a high-level player should help revitalize a team that could use a big spark.

The Sixers should still have plenty of options, though Lillard was perhaps their most sensible target as he would pair terrifically with Joel Embiid. De’Aaron Fox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Domantas Sabonis and C.J. McCollum are just a few of the big names Philadelphia could chase.

Whether any of those players — or any player the Sixers could reasonably get for Simmons — raise their ceiling is a different conversation. Simply getting one of those players, or someone similar, on the court will be beneficial as it becomes clearer that Simmons will no longer be a part of the organization.