The Cleveland Cavaliers have been active this offseason and rumors are they’re still pursuing one more trade, for the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons.
At this point, we’ve heard just about every possible permutation of a Ben Simmons trade with every team who could theoretically make it work. Most of those have ideas have been shut down by rumors and reports but the Marc Stein says the Cavaliers are keeping a flame alive.
In his latest NBA power rankings, Stein mentioned that even after trading for Lauri Markkanen, the Cavaliers are still pursuing Simmons.
“The Committee liked the Cavaliers’ recent acquisition of Lauri Markkanen, even after the Cavs drafted Evan Mobley and re-signed Jarrett Allen, because they added Markkanen on a team-friendly contract that will be easy to trade if needed. This is no small thing when league sources say that Cleveland continues to keep its hat in the ring to try to pry Ben Simmons from the Sixers.”
How could the Cavaliers trade for Ben Simmons?
This piece is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the Cavaliers could conceivably reroute Markkanen to Philadelphia. As a frontcourt shooter, he makes a lot of sense there paired with Joel Embiid but a straight sign-and-trade for Markkanen when he was still with the Bulls wasn’t possible. A trade framework built around Markkanen and Collin Sexton to the 76ers with Simmons, Tyrese Maxey going back to Cleveland would seem to solve a lot of problems for both sides.
However, Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton is a far cry from the Harden-esque, “four picks and a star” package that Daryl Morey was reportedly seeking early in this process. At this point it’s clear he’ll have to come way down off that kind of hypothetical asking price but it’s not clear how much he’s willing to compromise.