The two most dramatic storylines to open the 2021-22 NBA season could be resolved with a 76ers-Kings trade swapping Ben Simmons and Marvin Bagley.
It would seem we have reached an impasse.
Simmons has been asking for a trade all offseason, but the Philadelphia 76ers have repeatedly refused because they haven’t found a worthwhile exchange for the $170 million All-Star. Tensions flared when an apathetic Simmons refused to do a practice drill and was suspended for the season opener.
Similarly, the Sacramento Kings refuse to trade their No. 2 2018 NBA Draft pick because they haven’t found a trade with enough “value“. The value argument was thrown in the organization’s face when Bagley’s agent publicly denounced the Kings, saying that their refusal to play Bagley or trade him represented “a case study in mismanagement” by the organization.
So what if these two organizations could eliminate their undesired players with a single trade? That’s right: a trade package between the Kings and 76ers could send Simmons to Sacramento and Bagley to Philly.
It’s not unthinkable, as the two organizations have already contemplated the idea. But with their player relations deteriorating each day, it’s time to revisit the idea before the situations get even worse.
It’s time to revive trade talks between 76ers and Kings for Ben Simmons and Marvin Bagley
Sam Amick of The Athletic reported on Sept. 1 that the 76ers’ asking price for Simmons was too steep: Philadelphia wanted one of the Kings’ elite guards, either Tyrese Haliburton or De’Aaron Fox.
“That stance, the source said, has not and will not change and the internal expectation is that the core of their roster will remain the same heading into training camp later this month,” wrote Amick.
Because Simmons’ asking price was too high, the Kings declined the offer, but if Simmons continues to act the way he did in his Tuesday practice, the 76ers are unlikely to get their desired use out of him anyway. At this point, a satisfied and dedicated player would be more valuable than a resentful one, and the Simmons/Bagley drama could prove too much a distraction for either franchise.
If the 76ers are willing to drop their price, they could trade Simmons and Paul Reed for Bagley and Buddy Hield. Hield is no Simmons, but his five-year NBA career has him racking up 6,198 total points and a 40.6 3-point percentage.
Young power forward Reed could be an asset in Sacramento, especially when they refuse to utilize Bagley at all. Instead, Bagley could redeem himself in Philadelphia and earn the extension the Kings never offered him.
Also, the trade would work out perfectly value-wise: Simmons and Reed amount to about $33 million, as do Hield and Bagley.
With the value argument out of the picture, the Kings and 76ers could finally move forward in their seasons with satisfied parties on all ends. The Cold War could reach a detente, and these organizations could focus on building better cultures to prevent this kind of dysfunction in the future.