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RUMOR: The reason Kings are ‘favorites’ in Sixers’ Ben Simmons NBA trade sweepstakes

Kings, Sixers, Ben Simmons

With just under a month to go until the NBA trade deadline, the rumor mill is starting to heat up. Surprising to few, Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons remains to be one of the main names popping up in reports. The former no. 1 pick has yet to suit up for the Sixers as he attempts to land a change of scenery.

Since this saga began back in the offseason, there has been a lengthy list of potential suitors for the 25-year-old. Some teams have come and gone in rumors, while others have been mainstays. Among the most connected to Simmons through this ordeal is the Sacramento Kings.

Sacramento makes a ton of sense for multiple reasons. They have been in the basement of the NBA for years now, and acquiring a player like Simmons could help end their 15-year playoff drought.

One major roadblock in these teams facilitating a deal is Daryl Morey’s high asking price for Simmons. He continues to seek an All-Star caliber in return for any deal, and the Kings have been reluctant to put star guards De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton on the table.

Following a lackluster first half of the season, Sacramento finds itself near the bottom of the Western Conference once again. This poor start has already led to a coaching change, and a shake-up of the roster could be next. In his latest news dump, NBA insider Marc Stein reported the Kings have been viewed as the “favorites” to acquire Simmons.

One reason why the Kings might be seen in this light has to do with some of the latest rumors popping up regarding the Simmons saga. Earlier this week, reports emerged that the Sixers have begun attaching Tobias Harris in deals involving the All-Star point guard.

Being on max-level contracts, there is a lot of money tied up between Simmons and Harris. That being said, the Kings are one of few teams who might be willing and able to take on both players.

Per Stein:

If the Sixers can’t get the top-flight player they covet, going ahead with a Simmons deal that enables them to shed the two years and nearly $80 million left on Harris’ contract after this season might be too enticing to resist rather than holding out for a star in return.

Putting it simply, Sacramento is not a hotbed for premiere NBA free agents. Understanding this, there is a chance they could be willing to take on Harris if it means landing Simmons for the next four years.

With multiple large contracts on their books, the Kings have options to facilitate this type of mega-deal. Most likely, a trade would center around a package of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes.

All three players provide something of value for the Sixers. Fox is a near All-Star who is getting ready to enter his prime, Hield is a high-volume outside shooter to play alongside Embiid, and Barnes is a similar type of modern-day power forward like Harris.

There is no telling how serious the Sixers are about moving Harris, but if it’s an avenue they are truly pursuing for any Ben Simmons trade, the Kings are the main team to watch for a trade of this magnitude.