Shams Charania provided us the newest update on the Ben Simmons trade saga in Philadelphia, and the words may as well have come right out of Daryl Morey's mouth. Charania reported on the ongoing conflict between the Sixers and Simmons before dropping a nugget that the Boston Celtics have been making calls about trading for Simmons. In the next sentence, Charania notes All-Star forward Jaylen Brown would be "have" to be part of any deal for the maligned Simmons.
The Boston Celtics have engaged in conversations with the 76ers revolving around Simmons and expressed interest in the 6-foot-11 guard, sources tell The Athletic. Talks have been fluid with no traction as of yet, those sources say. Any potential Simmons deal with the Celtics would have to include All-Star forward Jaylen Brown, an ascending talent who is in the midst of another career season, averaging 25.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Hmm. One has to wonder who benefits from a report that Simmons is still only available for one of the league's best young players. It isn't Boston!
I will spoil this for all of you Sixers hopefuls right now: there is a zero percent chance rookie GM Brad Stevens sends out Brown for Simmons. None. Nil. Zilch. Less than none. This is wishful thinking by Morey and the rest of the Philadelphia front office.
Brown is taking another step as a scorer this year and is in the middle of an extremely affordable contract. He'll make a strong case for another All-Star selection and maybe even an All-Pro selection if things break right. And he just turned 25 years-old two weeks ago. A wing player of his size, athleticism, and shooting ability is the most valuable asset in the NBA right now. And the Sixers would like us all to think that the Celtics will trade him for a player who is refusing to show up to work right now, among all his other well-publicized flaws?
It just makes no sense. It's silly to even consider. Brown is one of the two most important players on the Celtics' roster. No team in the league is trading a player of that importance for Ben Simmons with the situation as it is right now. The battle between player and team will continue in public, with each side looking worse and worse as the days go by. Nobody else in the league is in a hurry to put a stop to that. Nobody is going to give the Sixers an offer they can't refuse, as a Brown trade would be.
It's probably true the Celtics have called. Simmons has enough value that teams are interested. He can play, even if he has significant flaws. Every team would like an All-NBA caliber defender on the roster. And every team will be calling Philly to see if they can get him on the cheap. All this report proves is that Morey's asking price is still sky-high. And there is no universe where that price is going to be met anytime soon.