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Rumor: Raptors closest to Ben Simmons deal with Sixers among suitors

Ben Simmons, Raptors, Sixers

A report from The Action Network’s Matt Moore came across the wire Monday that the Toronto Raptors had rejected a Ben Simmons trade offer from the Philadelphia 76ers involving Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Now, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reports the talks between the Raptors and Sixers are the most advanced among all the suitors when it comes to a Simmons deal.

While that may be true, it doesn’t seem as if anything is imminent. The Raptors were right to reject that ridiculous Sixers offer, but perhaps these two teams will continue working up until the draft on a potential deal.

While the general assumption is Ben Simmons will indeed be moved this offseason, Fischer reports the Sixers could look to keep the Australian around. Daryl Morey is still dreaming of the possibility of getting Damian Lillard to Philly, with Simmons potentially being used as a centerpiece of a trade offer for the Portland Trail Blazers star.

For Toronto, the franchise is in an interesting spot after a disappointing 2020-21 campaign. The Raptors got the No. 4 pick after failing to make the playoffs, and the current assumption is that Lowry will be taking his talents elsewhere. Toronto still has intriguing talent in place, but Pascal Siakam’s name has also come up in trade rumors.

Trading for Simmons would allow the Raptors to reset a bit after losing Lowry, but they don’t want to give up too much for a flawed player, even if he’s very talented. There are also questions about Masai Ujiri’s future with the franchise, so we’ll see how he operates this offseason.